"Biochar Traps Water and Fixes Carbon in Soil, Helping the Climate."

"As droughts become longer, the soil additive could save on irrigation water and, if mass produced, might compete with energy sources such as oil and gas."

"Biochar, a charcoal-like substance made from burning organic materials in a low or zero-oxygen environment, can improve the quality of soil and trap carbon dioxide in the earth for potentially hundreds, or even thousands, of years.

But a recent study suggests that it may also have another benefit: it could reduce irrigation costs for farmers, thanks to its highly porous and water-absorbent properties.

The meta-analysis, published in GCB Bioenergy, found that mixing biochar with sandy-textured soils could increase the amount of water the soil stored, meaning farmers would need less water to irrigate their crops and could recycle water from rainfall and runoff, said Jennifer Kroeger, a fellow at the Science and Technology Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., who led the study."

Jonathan Moens reports for Inside Climate News December 11, 2020.

Source: Inside Climate News, 12/14/2020