Biochar basics


Biochar is an extremely complex stable form of carbon produced by the controlled heating of plant and/or animal material (biomass feedstock) at high temperatures (350 - 600oC) in a low oxygen environment.

The technique of heating in a low oxygen environment is called pyrolysis.

Biochars complex chemical structure is defined by the feedstock it is made from and the temperature conditions used in its manufacture.

Biochar is a form of charcoal but is different in that biochar is produced in controlled conditions so that most of the carbon is converted to usable products.

This Primefact covers the following topics:

  • Are all biochars the same?
  • What are the benefits to agriculture?
  • Biochar and climate change
  • Can I make my own biochar?


Primefact 963 First Edition

Published: Oct 2009