Promise and Limits of “Biochar” to Store CO2

by time news

2023-06-02 17:48:05

It regenerates acidic soils and traps carbon dioxide for hundreds of years: Produced by the pyrolization of plants, “biological charcoal” traps gas in a sustainable way while reducing soil acidity.

The IPCC recognizes this in its latest report: despite the efforts made to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, technologies aimed at eliminating CO2 of the atmosphere will be almost essential to achieve the objective of carbon neutrality that a large number of countries have set for themselves by 2050.

Named “CDR” (for carbon dioxide removal), they aim to capture the greenhouse gas before burying it permanently. If these processes can prove to be very expensive and not very “mature” on the technological level, some consist more simply of using plants which naturally capture carbon dioxide to produce the organic matter which makes them grow. This is the case of “biological coal”, more often called “biochar”: cited many times in the latest IPCC reports, it is attracting growing interest from scientists and industrialists. Witness the rise of the French start-up NetZero, which has just inaugurated its second…

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