Biochar: An Emerging Technology for Climate Change Mitigation

Fahd Rasul, Umair Gull, Muhammad Habib ur Rehman, Qaiser Hussain, Hassan Javed Chaudhary, Amar Matloob, Sobia Shahzad, Sumera Iqbal, Vakhtang Shelia, Sanwal Masood, Hassan Munir Bajwa


Climate change, a consequence of anthropogenic activities, is threatening the life on earth to persist for a longer period of time. Greenhouse gases (Noel P. Gurwick, 2012 #5)emission including CO2 concentration in the atmosphere are the most adverse situation that are prevailing on the planet. Unexpected events may occur more frequently that will be detrimental for sustainable life. The emission of greenhouse gases especially elevated CO2 should be ceased to combat the harsh outcomes of climatic variations which will affect billions of people if its plinths are not stopped i.e. elimination of greenhouse gases particularly CO2. The inhabitants of the developing countries have suffered and will suffer greatly from the consequences of climatic uncertainity as the rain patterns will observe a huge shift that will encourage the floods and water scarcity. To cope with the challenges of climatic changes and sequestration of C  based greenhouse gases, effective and practical techniques are required to be opted for proper storage within the soil. A major intervention is the pyrolysis technique that converts biomass in absence or limited oxygen and controlled conditions of temperature and pressure to a carbon rich compound shortened as biochar from biomass-charcoal. Biochar, has been characterized as a stable, long lasting product of pyrolysis with potential of increasing agricultural production as soil amendment, C-sequestration from sustainably sourced feedstock. This review provides a glimpse of current scientific research in biochar as a climate change mitigation tool. Biochar at the rate of 0.5% being a carbon rich product has potential to improve total organic carbon in soil from 23-30% along with its other agronomic uses for soil improvement in terms of soil CEC, pH, bulk density, water and nutrient holding capacity, microbial activity enhancer, remediation of polluted and degraded soil besides its C-sequestration potential for mitigation of climate change.


Biochar; Black carbon; Carbon sequestration; Climate change mitigation; Greenhouse gases; Soil amendment

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