Moving forward from 'biochar revolution' to 'biochar evolution': Shaping a promising mitigation tool demands future research efforts

Details zur Publikation
Autorenliste: Kammann C.
Jahr der Veröffentlichung: 2013
Quelle: Agricultural and Food Science
Bandnummer: 22
Heftnummer: 4
Erste Seite: 371
Letzte Seite: 372
Verlag: Scientific Agricultural Society of Finland
ISSN: 1459-6067
DOI: 10.23986/afsci.9328
Sprachen: Englisch
Peer reviewed


In February 2013, the 2nd Nordic Biochar Seminar was successfully held in Helsinki, Finland. The fruitful meeting, well organized by Priit Tammeorg, offered a broad kaleidoscope of new insights into the novel interdisciplinary research topic of biochar. The papers in this issue clearly show that biochar use in agriculture can deliver benefits such as reductions in N2O emissions or N leaching (Kettunen and Saarnio), in addition to soil C storage without negative effects (Karer et al. , Anders et al. ). However, they also demonstrate that just one biochar addition does not turn each temperate fertile soil into a fertility miracle. In Terra preta sites, the pyrogenic carbon was likely an important ingredient, but it was combined with organic waste inputs and not used pure. Thus, yield-increasing pure-biochar effects in temperate soils are likely not a low-hanging fruit to be harvested without further ado. Rather, problematic soils should be the primary target; combined biochar-organics usage also deserves further research. However, considering the lack of political efforts to restore our planet's radiative balance, or tackle the challenges associated with soil degradation and resource consumption, no emerging chances should be missed. "Biochar" is such a chance – not more, but also not less. Shaping "biochar use in agriculture" into a safe, sustainable and economically feasible tool will only come at the cost of good hard research efforts; but it offers the unique chance to turn agricultural practices from being part of the problem into being part of the solution.