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What is Biochar?

What is Biochar?
Japan has the responsibility as a “biochar pioneer”

It is remarkable that something commonly taken for granted in Japan is quickly entering the world stage: charcoal for agriculture, or “biochar.” Charcoal has been playing a major role in increasing soil fertility for more than thirty years in Japan. When applied to soils it improves water holding capacity, permeability, stabilizes soil temperature, and enriches soil microbial communities. Biochar’s effectiveness was recognized nationally in 1988 by a governmental act officially acknowledging charcoal as a soil ameliorator.

Why has biochar become the focus of so many in recent years? Two simple answers are global warming and food-related crises. By carbonizing biomass, approximately half of the carbon present in the biomass is immobilized in the form of charcoal—this means that the overall amount of carbon in the air can be decreased by systemic carbonization of biomass. At the same time, this charcoal contributes to food production and food security by improving soil characteristics.

Japan has the responsibility as a “biochar pioneer” to share our experience and research accumulated and developed within the last thirty years. We are confident that APBC KYOTO 2011 attendees will learn something valuable during the conference in Kyoto and play a part in the diffusion of biochar within the Asia Pacific region and the world. Looking forward to seeing you in Kyoto!

Any questions or concerns should be directed to: Office of 2nd Asia Pacific Biochar Conference