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Drawing down carbon - Johannes Lehmann of Cornell University talks Bio Char

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Fledermaus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:24 PM
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Drawing down carbon - Johannes Lehmann of Cornell University talks Bio Char
Matthew Wright At Beyond Zero Emissions, we believe in taking our atmospheric carbons as close to near zero emissions as possible, and then trying to balance that. Of course, agrichar can be one way of doing that. Then we're talking about actually pulling down the carbon debt. That's the carbon that the West has emitted in its industrialisation, which is about 200 billion tonnes. Do you see enough land that's appropriate to sort of achieve that sort of pull-down in a short period, in 10, 20, 30 years sort of thing?

Johannes Lehmann: Absolutely, and I can tell you why I think that, but what I explain now is of course a theoretical potential that's not fettered??? 11:19 against economic realities of competing strategies and political influences. Why I think it is possible, because you can do calculations and look at waste biomass in agriculture or forest thinnings, agricultural by-products, crop residues, etc. These taken together would be more than enough to put a significant dent into the rising co2 curve. Conversely, there are more than enough soils that would need boosted soil fertility and could very well need this biochar. It is entirely conceivable that this can play a major role.

Another factor is that this is a technology that already exists. It is not something where we speculate that we have the development of 5 or 10 years until we get to a stage where it's technologically feasible. This is technologically feasible right now. And it is not a very complicated technology. It is a very ancient technology in its basic function and charcoal making is one of the most ancient technologies that humanity invented. It's a very, very old technology. However, producing energy from that technology requires quite a bit more technology, but the mere process of converting biomass into biochar is a very ancient and basic technology and can be done in massive proportions within a very short period of time. I think it's a very important opportunity that we should have a very close look at.

Of course, there's a multitude of competing and old intelligent solutions, to our energy, as well as climate, problem. And I think that there are other bioenergy options that deserve a very close look and have definitely a place in a portfolio of options. But I can't see that there's another opportunity such as pyrolysis with a biochar return to soil that offers clear carbon-negative bioenergy where for every unit of energy that you produce you're actually net-sequestering carbon in the terrestrial ecosystem, or anywhere on Earth.

http://beyondzeroemissions.org/2008/03/07/johannes-lehm...
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skids Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:01 PM
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1. Obligatory Terra Preta link...
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 01:00 PM
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2. This is one of my favorite new old ideas - we need to do it
on a massive scale if we're gonna have a prayer of mitigating GW.
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GliderGuider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 06:58 PM
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3. Mine too.
The nice thing is, we can keep doing it even if the rest of our industrial civilization goes to hell in a handbag. It's the epitome of an effective, resilient, low-tech solution. Best damn idea I've seen in years.
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