Re: [EXTERN] Getting recognition for Biochar as a NET was RE: [Biochar] Help regarding an article Smith 2016 #net

Ian McChesney

Yes, good Paper from Smith et al ..................

The Gaunt/Lehmann view is correct for a ‘micro’ version of biochar and where the biomass harvest is <50% moisture and therefore ‘autothermal’ in a local boiler setup. It does not take into account any multiplier effect on the biomass harvest from biochar incorporation and legitimises the further drying and transport of biomass (eg. pellets) to distant power plants. The so-called ‘renewable energy’ solution. 

Smith corrects this view and also recognises that PyC will have more impact when applied locally with other solutions. The difficulty is is touched on in the Discussion with the statement that ‘biochar and BECCS cannot be done together’. This is a consequence of modelling objectives that try to prioritise ‘optimum’ solutions. 

Biomass with >50% moisture finds its way back to the soil without much processing and this C quickly returns to the atmosphere. In a ‘macro’ version of biochar this resource would be tapped as a source of BC and E. The ‘tops’ from tree harvest, shells and fibre from food crops, invasives etc. that do not make a good enough biomass ‘fuel’. 

This biochar will take more effort to produce and is ‘worth’ more in terms of climate change, and it will take new low CAPEX/low OPEX solutions for widespread implementation. However, while our taxes are directed towards large and expensive renewable projects (mostly for the benefit of pension funds) this type of local solution is largely ignored. Hopefully, PyCCS can help identify the valuable synergies we are missing, and maybe turn the tide before it is too late.     

Ian McC   


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