Re: Potential for large-scale CO2 removal via enhanced rock weathering with croplands: Nature #rockdust #weathering #carbonmineralization

Bob Wells


    Thanks for bringing that article to our attention.  I've been adding basalt dust to all of our mixed biochar products for years.  I started after studying paramagnetism and its effects on plant growth as described by Dr. Phil Callahan.  Many will say that the nutritional value of the basalt minerals is what's important.  Now there is another benefit to add to the list.

Bob Wells

On Wed, Jul 22, 2020 at 7:23 PM Ron Larson <rongretlarson@...> wrote:
Valentine et al:

I just sent this following note off on this “Beerling” article to a different (AMEG) list (leaving off the intro):

The Guardian article had brief mention of a commentary by Johannes Lehmann  (my most favorite biochar author)  and Angela Possinger.   I found that in the same July 8 issue - at

Obviously Nature asked for this preview article - because Professor Lehmann was an official reviewer for the main article.  These two final sentences are important from a biochar perspective (biochar being hardly mentioned except as having a possible impact):

  "Scientists might need to recognize that climate-change mitigation is not a sufficient incentive on its own, and that benefits to crop growth will need to be prioritized, as will financial incentives. Such an approach of financially supporting soil health and crop production could emerge as our best near-term solution to the problem of removing CO2 from the atmosphere."

Dr.  Possinger'ss recent thesis, with Prof. Lehmann as faculty advisor, is on this same topic (apparently not mainly on biochar).  We should look forward to hearing more from her.

This is an important set of papers from the CDR perspective.  I will forward this added cite separately to the CDR list.

I have not commented on the Beetling paper here - but have read it fairly carefully.  There is sufficient mention of biochar - but not of the need for the soil improvement importance provided by this earlier invited paper in the same issue of Nature.  

I see no direct connection to AMEG - but CDR still seems to be key for the Arctic.

Again - thanks for the alert.


ps - Anything positive to report on your Cameroons biochar work?

On Jul 21, 2020, at 12:13 PM, Valentine Nzengung <vnzengun@...> wrote:

Find attached the Nature Paper
In the Cameroons, I obtained the rock dust by grinding fines from a quarry and basaltic lava from a recent eruption of Mount Fako.
The final product increased the yield of bananas at a plantation scale. 
The country is at war, so I do not have the complete field data.

Valentine Nzengung

From: <> on behalf of Kim Chaffee via <kim.chaffee2@...>
Sent: Tuesday, July 21, 2020 1:54 PM
To: <>; USBI Board Members <>
Cc: Rock Dust Local <stones32@...>
Subject: [Biochar] Potential for large-scale CO2 removal via enhanced rock weathering with croplands: Nature


This newly published research paper in Nature appears to open a new avenue for promoting the use of biochar.   We know that soluble minerals in the form of 'rock dust’ work synergistically with biochar to improve crop yield and nutritional value.  Now, it appears that the CO2 removal capabilities of the rock dust itself can also be a significant climate benefit.  Another synergy.

This article is behind a paywall, but the abstract also contains the figures, which are very informative.  It may be possible to obtain the 'rock dust’ from industrial silicate materials without having to do more mining.  Any thoughts?

Kim Chaffee 

From the abstract:

Enhanced silicate rock weathering (ERW), deployable with croplands, has potential use for atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) removal (CDR), which is now necessary to mitigate anthropogenic climate change1. ERW also has possible co-benefits for improved food and soil security, and reduced ocean acidification2,3,4

<Biochar Rock Dust CO2 Removal.pdf>

Bob Wells
Biochar Systems

New England Biochar LLC
Box 266 - 40 Redberry Ln.
Eastham, MA 02642, USA
T:  (508) 255-3688

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