Re: [EXTERN] [EXTERN] Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Biochar Sequestration - Must it be Buried

Frank Strie

Hello Rick,
Nutrient enriched Biochar and also BiocharCopmost is / should be part of a whole systems approach such as Regenerative Farming.
There would be days after application if at all that the nutrient enriched Biochar would be visible black / exposed to sunlight as the vegetation will get a boost.
Nando Breiter provided good examples that practicing  farmers and restorative foresters know about.
We provide great examples at our displays at the Harvest Launceston Farmers Markets where we mixed white sand with our initially black, nutrient enriched biochar and within a few days the zones in the clear  Glas containers turn green just as the clear packaging we sell our Biochar products in various Garden Centres turn green.
Frank again   


From: <> On Behalf Of Rick Wilson via
Sent: Friday, July 9, 2021 2:44 PM
Subject: Re: [EXTERN] [EXTERN] Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Biochar Sequestration - Must it be Buried



I’m not sure why we are discounting the potential albedo effect of biochar, making the argument its not important, without data?

Do we think others will be convinced when they raise a challenge, if we don’t have data - studies to support our claims?



On Jul 8, 2021, at 4:26 PM, Frank Strie <frank.strie@...> wrote:


Thank you Nando Breiter,
I keep it short: You are 100% right.
The albedo argument was made repeatedly by the anti-Biomass energy anti-Biochar movement  (Biofuel watch) over a decade ago and ever since.
it is a complete ‘Red Herring’ as you described it well and why!
Cheers from Tassie
Frank again 


From: <> On Behalf Of Nando Breiter
Sent: Friday, July 9, 2021 6:03 AM
Subject: Re: [EXTERN] Re: [EXTERN] Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Biochar Sequestration - Must it be Buried


Regarding surface spreading of the char affecting albedo, in most cases it can be reasonably assumed it will be covered by vegetation. Keeping soil bare, particularly without tillage of any kind, particularly at any scale that would matter, is labor intensive. To illustrate, I can't imagine a world in which, for instance, hundreds of people would continuously and carefully weed hectares of land to keep surface spread biochar exposed to the sun. I struggle to keep about 100 m2 of bed space in our research garden weed free, and I use implements that perturb the topmost layer of soil. But of course, I may be missing something ... 


... which very well could be that whenever and wherever soil is kept bare, erosion occurs very easily. Thus the more difficult challenge facing our surface-spread biochar maintenance crew might be to keep the exposed char from washing away at the first heavy rain event. 


On a practical note, surface spreading in turf applications makes sense, but generally speaking, it would be recommended to roll an aeration device over the turf that punctures the soil before spreading the char and then water the char so it runs down into those holes. Biochar as a soil additive needs to be in the root zone to do some good. 


The Puro carbon market does not specify in its methodology how the biochar must be applied. There are those that might consider this approach improper, but again on a practical note, once the biochar leaves the production facility, how can its end fate be monitored in an economically feasible way? Any reasonable attempt at accurate monitoring of all biochar utilized could easily cost vastly more than the carbon credit would ever be worth. 


Beyond biochar, one can find fundamental holes in any carbon market methodology that allow it to be gamed. 


If the point of the carbon credits is to help stimulate environmentally helpful activity, then I think the Puro methodology for biochar gets the balance right. So according to this perspective, surface application of biochar is sufficiently "sequestered". We can reasonably assume that either it will be covered with vegetation and eventually be incorporated into the soil, or be eroded away and maybe wind up as sediment in a stream bed. 


If the goal morphs toward a guarantee that biochar cannot oxidize, then I think we're missing the point. 





On Thu, Jul 8, 2021 at 6:18 AM Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:

There is some very good anthropology for various sites of anthropogenic soils around the world. I was intrigued by the contemporary Kayapo use of ashes from various plants used on specific plants for their mineral amendment. Not unusual for peoples much closer to plants and soils than most of us. 



T R Miles Technical Consultants Inc.

Sent from mobile. 

On Jul 7, 2021, at 9:06 PM, David R Derbowka <david.derbowka@...> wrote:

I have no quarrel or disagreement with all said.  You are correct of course.  let's hope the system gets applied, for all our sakes.






David R Derbowka

Chief Executive Officer

Passive Remediation Systems Ltd.

Tel: +1 250 306 6377 | 

eMail: david.derbowka@... |Web: |





On Wed, Jul 7, 2021 at 9:00 PM Ken Carloni <ken.carloni@...> wrote:

Hi Geoff et al. -- I didn't take Paul's comment as dissing.  One must be careful when ascribing intentionality to ancient cultures that no longer exist.  My hypothesis is that the makers of Terra Preta soil discovered early on that adding ash (and the char mixed in it) from their cooking fires to their garden plots increased yields immediately because of the minerals in the ash.  Generations of adding ash to the soil for the immediate productivity gain would have allowed the char to gradually build up.  Cultures that built TP soils by happenstance or intention would have been more sustainable and would have persisted longer, reinforcing and spreading that cultural tradition.


And I am an American with great respect for indigenous peoples' traditions no matter how they evolved.


Thanks -- KC


On Wed, Jul 7, 2021 at 4:16 PM Geoff Thomas <wind@...> wrote:

Hi Paul, with due respect, that dissing of past peoples is a very American thing, - caused by insecurity?? - there is much record of amazing things done in the past by advanced civilisations, and that includes the south America continent.

Something built on what was done in the past does not demean it, au contraire, it substantiates it.

Cheers, Geoff Thomas, Australia.


On 8 Jul 2021, at 1:01 am, K McLean <kmclean56@...> wrote:


Because someone may want to get credit for carbon sequestration without the added expense of demonstrating that the biochar was buried.


Of course the biochar should be put to good use.


On Wed, Jul 7, 2021, 10:50 AM Claudia Kammann <claudia.kammann@...> wrote:

The question is, why would someone do that….? What are the benefits? Do you want to increase the soil temperature thereby? You’d definitely reduce the albedo by having a darker soil.


Best, C.


Von: <> Im Auftrag von K McLean
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 7. Juli 2021 16:10
Betreff: [EXTERN] Re: [EXTERN] Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Biochar Sequestration - Must it be Buried


How about broadcast on top of the ground so it cannot burn?


On Wed, Jul 7, 2021, 8:07 AM Claudia Kammann <claudia.kammann@...> wrote:

…the pile could still burn, therefore I wouldn’t allow it for C sink accounting, personally…. As long as it can get back to the atmosphere it’s only a temporary C storage / deposit, but for me it’s not a reliable C sink I would pay for….


I attached the guidelines in case you’d like to give them a look.


Best, Claudia


Von: <> Im Auftrag von K McLean
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 7. Juli 2021 14:02
Betreff: [EXTERN] Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Biochar Sequestration - Must it be Buried


How about left on/above the ground but not burned and not otherwise secured (eg cement)?  Just in a pile on the ground.


On Wed, Jul 7, 2021 at 7:59 AM Frank Strie <frank.strie@...> wrote:

Very good point well-made Claudia!!



From: <> On Behalf Of Claudia Kammann
Sent: Wednesday, July 7, 2021 9:57 PM
Subject: Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Biochar Sequestration - Must it be Buried


The EBC for C sinks defines it C-sink function by a documented use that does not allow its oxidation aka burning. It can also be building materials etc, it doesn’t have to be soil.





Von: <> Im Auftrag von K McLean
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 7. Juli 2021 13:00
Betreff: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Biochar Sequestration - Must it be Buried




Must biochar be buried for the carbon to be considered sequestered?  Or, can the carbon be considered sequestered once the biochar is made regardless of whether the biochar is buried or left above ground?



Kevin McLean






Ken Carloni, Ph.D.

Botanist/Forest Ecologist

Ecosystem Restoration and Biochar Consulting

1 (541) 672-1914



Nando Breiter
CarbonZero Sagl
Astano, Switzerland 


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