Re: Biochar vs. methane RE: [Biochar] biochar induced biota biomass #methane #biota

Thomas Casten

The calculation of CO2 e is complex and best left to IPCC reports.  The IPCC 4th assessment provided CO2e for 10-year, 20-year, 100-yr, and 500-year.  The CH4 and N2O CO2 e values in IPCC 4 were:
Species CO2 CH4 N20
Yrs life 550 12 114
500 year CO2e 1 7.6 153
100 year CO2e 1 25 298
20-year CO2 e 1 73 289
10-year CO2 E 1                 91                    275

A big concern right now is the warming permafrost that could dump gigatons of methane and CO2.  We separately identify ways to cut world methane by 30% and this would reduce the next ten years of radiative forcing by the ten-year number.  Feed ruminants biochar to cut methane belching and to reduce the methane formation from their manure, add methane to other livestock manure, use new sensing technology flown on drones to find methane emissions from oil and gas and set heavy fines, and add biochar to soil to cut methane emissions.  Speed conversion of municipal sewage treatment plants from aerobic to anaerobic to make methane that then displaces fossil methane. Most of these actions save enough to pay for themselves.

The other big reduction of radiative forcing comes from adding biochar with high fixed carbon to farmland and forest, which cuts nitrogen valorization, avoiding N2O emissions and the emissions associated with making the nitrogen with natural gas.  The choice of CO2 E years does not have much impact on N2O impact.

Finally, the way I have seen atmospheric CO2 degradation described is a steady percentage drop over the first 30 years to 50% of initial CO2, then a steady percentage drop over the next 300 years to 20% of the original, and then a tail that lasts thousands of years.

We propose that policy decisions rely on a discounted present value of radiative forcing for each GHG species, using a heavy discount rate, say 15% per year or higher, reflecting the urgency of the climate catastrophe.  Anyone wishing to review this work please send me a request at tr9casten@... and I will send the present value of radiative forcing tool we are working on.

Thomas R Casten
Cell: 630-915-9215
Work: 630-321-1095

On Sat, Mar 28, 2020 at 6:31 PM Geoff Thomas <wind@...> wrote:
Hi Paul, good to see this point discussed, the only reference I found was in a  discussion in which one seeming expert claimed the minimum was 14 years, but 20 would be more common, - that discussion did not remain  - actually I thought it was on this list?

The possibility of 14 was why I chose 3 times the effect of the carbon dioxide in my press release on the Cow Biochar, ie 14 times 90, - 90 being the figure by given by several on how much more harmful a green house gas methane is than carbon dioxide, so that is my assumption that for 14 years the methane is having 90 times the effect of the carbon dioxide, but what does that figure of 1260 then mean? - the carbon dioxide will have the same effect at 1260 years?
That carbon dioxide in the atmosphere lasts more than 100 years is often asserted, but not 1260 years.
Certainly we need a lot more accurate figures, preferably backed up by proper research.

At the moment,  assuming the Coronavirus is contained well short of destroying our civilisation, (not guaranteed by some inept politicians) Methane emissions will continue increasing for many years, particularly from melting permafrost, although there are techniques being developed to halt that, but feeding cows charcoal and stopping fracking should reduce it severely, so 14 years after that the Warming effects from Methane should reduce dramatically, - all else being equal.

Of course stopping the fracking before much of the worlds aquifers are severely damaged is another issue, but probably can only happen when the build out  of Renewable energy is large enough to put fracking out of business, - as it has done with much coal fired electricity  generation.

On 29 Mar 2020, at 7:06 am, Paul S Anderson <psanders@...> wrote:

Tom,   (I hope this gets interest and comments from numerous readers interested in biochar and methane.)
I follow your presentation.   I would dissect it a little:
1.  Seek to obtain better statements of the damage of methane at several time levels:
                A.  100 years  (because that seems to be documented.   What is the 100-year CO2 equivalence of methane?)
                B.  20 years (also understood.  What is the 20-year CO2 equivalence of methane?  And also  what methods cut it’s impact off at 20 yrs instead of just running on to 100 years)?
                C.  5 years (what amount of damage / impact?   and what could cut it off at 5 years – prevent from going to 20 or 100 years?)
                D.  1 year (Same two questions: what amount of damage / impact?   and what could cut it off at 5 years – prevent from going to 20 or 100 years?)
                E.  2 months  (Same first question:    what amount of damage / impact;   But the second question (what could do the job of stopping methane at 2 months) becomes a research topic about the impact of biochar into manure or other methane sources.  )  
                F.  Zero months:   (What WOULD have been the damage IF the methane had been released?    And the second question is how much methane reduction  can occur from proper feeding of biochar to cattle?)
2.  Concerning the quick capture (such as 2 months) or the avoidance of production (zero months) of methane, do we have quality data about how much methane can be “intercepted” at the different time levels?   And what is the ultimate outcome regarding the methane:  such as delayed release, or “the bacteria ate it”  or something else?     
3.  Combine 1 and 2 and make some clear statements (or clear research hypotheses).   Main question is:   What is the quantitative value of biochar (in CO2e units) when it is targeting methane in different scenarios of usage?
4.  I suggest that there be no references to NOx because it leads to overload and sidetracking of the discussion.   If necessary, let NOx have its own discussion regarding biochar.
Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:
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From: <> On Behalf Of Thomas Casten via Groups.Io
Sent: Saturday, March 28, 2020 12:33 PM
Subject: Re: [Biochar] biochar induced biota biomass
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Look at Chapter 8 of an Ebook cited in attached excerpt dealing with biochar impact on changes in soil organic carbon
In summary, meta-studies found a mean 3.8% per year increase in SOC but values included 0 within 95% confidence range. Longer-term studies show a 15% SOC increase with BC, but the results depend on the BC characteristics and soil, so more research is needed.
Everyone should be aware that the portion of this chapter dealing with the impact on climate change notes the impact of biochar on reducing CH4 and N20 emissions, but uses the 100-year CO2 equivalence, which seriously understates the reduction of near-term radiative forcing. Studies show BC addition to compost and to manure reduces CH4 emissions, but use of 100-year CO2 equivalence of 25 understates the impact of reduced CH4 by 70% versus 10-year CO2 e. This is because CH4 has a life of 12 years while CO2 takes 330 years to drop to 20% of emissions and thousands of years to completely disappear. The 100-year CO2 e of methane is 25, while the IPCC 10-year equivalence is 91.  N20, which lives 150 years, is roughly the same with a 100-yr e of 298 and 10-year e of 275.  Bottom line: correctly made biochar added to compost or manure has a major impact on radiative forcing.   

Thomas R Casten
Cell: 630-915-9215
Work: 630-321-1095

On Sat, Mar 28, 2020 at 3:15 AM Tomaso Bertoli - CISV <tomaso.bertoli@...> wrote:
did anyone attempt at "weighing" the bacteria and fungi that can grow on biochar ? 
for any kg / pound of biochar added to the soil how much organic matter in the form of bacteria and fungi can we expect ?
can anyone guesstimate % of biomass weight that we can add to biochar by biocharging it with compost tea or similar approaches ?
did some google scholar searching but I guess I did not use the right keywords

Thomas R Casten

Thomas R Casten

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