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

Frank Strie

Thanks for sharing the link to the recent article in Nature Ron and also  your positive comments Bob.
Natural Resource management is a complex topic, as a ProSilva style restorative & regenerative forester and primary producer, market gardener, fruit and nut grower and biochar producer, user and trader. We know that media, journalists  and headlines seem to highlight individual activities and inputs and that then each possible activity is “competing” or is ranked in its  individual effectiveness of particular expectations. This keep such people in business and many readers / the general public and community decision makers confused.
This is why I am so delighted to see that practicing farmers and foresters have found ways to share their ideas, their daily work, their concerns and questions to an ever growing network.
Due to the modern, fast and far reaching information flow and the ability to have citizens scientists and action network formed who meet weekly from their home, and farm, sawmill or board rooms and global research institutions. Zoom and Skype enable now more than 5000 Farmers in Australia to exchange under the “Farmers for Climate Action” FCA Banner with Farmers and Foresters and Researchers and Media in New Zealand working under the “Pure Advantage” Banner. Here in Tasmania we have intergenerational exploration of best practice by the “Soil First Tasmania” network, when it comes to holistic forestry, the site  specific  Forest Restoration Management approach is practiced by at least 6000 members made up of foresters, forest owners, students and scientists that meet since at least 1950 in Germany as the ANW  = “Arbeitsgemeinschaft Naturgemäße Waldwirtschaft
“, since 1989 as ProSilva Europe, since early 1990s in UK as the “Continuous Cover Forestry Group” . Formal ProSilva (lat. For the Forest) Country Networks have formed in 25 Countries by now and I am working with other likeminded foresters and forest managers in Tassie and Mainland Australia and also in New Zealand to set up ProSilva Australia #26 and New Zealand #27. In the United States there is also the “Forest Stewards Guild” active in linking complex management from soil and hydrology, landscape restoration, forest management, harvesting and regeneration with meaningful employment, training and education.
The reason why I contacted Prof. Bruno Glaser in Germany  in March 2004  from under Down Under Tasmania was that I was fascinated to explore the possibilities to restore complex, biodiverse and productive forest landscapes etc.
Biochar and other Pyrogenic Carbon products are closely linked to Biomass Energy utilization. Biochar and other DesignerChars can not be separated from Circular Economic developments  but is integral to a Circular Bioeconomy.
As soon as people understand the complex, interlinked opportunities of waste upcycling and energy co-generation  (thermal & potentially power) with Pyrogenic Carbon production in their local region do they get into action mode.
Since 2007 the EcoModelRegion /
Ökoregion Kaindorf is a best practice example in combined community, industry, education & training circular economy. What began with 20 Farmers and Composters   around a big table some 13 years ago has grown to the annual Humus Symposium with some 400 participants  and also the establishment of the Humus Akademie Kaindorf  in 2017. Example the IBI excursion 2018:
“Growing the economy from the bottom up”
In Bavaria we visited  the “EM Chiemgau” and the Christoph Fischer GmbH they doing remarkable activities with the farmers and community members in the glocal / global & local context and in Switzerland the ‘Ithaka Institute for carbon intelligence’ founded by Hans-Peter Schmidt (the Biochar Journal)  in 2013  and represented by Kathleen Draper in the United States.
‘Landwirtschaft 5.0’ / Agriculture 5.0 at the Technical University in Offenburg and Uni. Freiburg in SW Germany. …
All great work in progress at every level, and the Fachverband Pflanzenkohle and the EBC all valuable stuff.
Best regards from under Down Under again
Frank for Climate Action  (FCA)

Active with Farmers for Climate Action (FCA)



From: <> On Behalf Of Bob Wells
Sent: Friday, July 24, 2020 1:58 AM
Cc:; USBI Board Members <>; Rock Dust Local <stones32@...>
Subject: Re: [Biochar] Potential for large-scale CO2 removal via enhanced rock weathering with croplands: Nature




    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




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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