Biochar horizon 2025

Hans Peter Schmidt, Simon Shackley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

In the late 2000s, when the biochar euphoria was at its highest, the breakthrough from biochar research and development to large-scale implementation into farmers’ practice seemed imminent. The story about improving soil fertility, ecosystem services and saving the climate all at once added up to a convincing win-win-win narrative. In principle, this hopeful ideal is still possible, but several factors have led biochar to be as yet only a niche product. On the one hand, evidence of positive results in European agriculture is rare, though results are more promising from other parts of the world where there are poorer soils and fewer chemical inputs. Furthermore, legislation of its use in European soil is complex and confusing, industrial production has not taken off due mostly to technical problems incurring high unit production costs and the existence of low product margins in a market which is largely yet to be built. On the other hand, scientific projects have multiplied and various results - not only those limited to agronomy - have shown that biochar may be positioned more than ever as a potential key material for the bio-based economy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiochar in European Soils and Agriculture
Subtitle of host publicationScience and Practice
PublisherTaylor and Francis AS
Pages281-289
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781134654871
ISBN (Print)9780415711661
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

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