What is BIOCHAR?

Biochar is a charcoal-like material which is applied into a soil or potting mix to improve the structure and growth of plants. Biochar is made by heating organic matter at extreme temperatures until most gases and oils are released and recycled to produce green electricity. This heating process is called Pyrolysis. The remaining structure of the organic matter is Biochar this structure is essentially the skeleton of the organic material and consists mostly of compounds such as Carbon and Silica. Mara Seeds biochar is made from a sustainable source of natural plant material which has a very diverse composition that suits a variety of soil microorganisms.

How does BIOCHAR work for soil and plants?

CCC plant hole.jpgAn increase in production from soil and plants is gained because the Biochar attracts plant available water and plant nutrients to its Carbon molecules, these would normally drain through the soil and away from the plant roots. The stable form of carbon (non-labile) in Biochar ensures that the soil structure is improved because of the binding and aeration qualities that this material adds to the treated area. The microscopic image of biochar is a lattice-like structure showing the phloem and xylem cells that were formerly the veins of the plant. As this porous vascular structure is still intact after the pyrolysis process it allows the soil water to impregnate the char, a colony of beneficial soil organisms that live in the soil water can inhabit the pores of the biochar and assist with distributing nutrients and water for plants from the Biochar particles. When good Compost is added to biochar and soil it can improve the diversity of organisms that live in the biochar and increase the production of plant nutrients. The labile carbon (available) of compost assists with the growth of plants as a digestible material whereas the biochar is generally indigestible and serves as a habitat.

Why should I use BIOCHAR?

Primary producers generally use biochar to reduce irrigation costs and fertiliser costs, to aerate a planting media, prevent soil-disease or increase soil fertility. Aquaculture and irrigation enterprise use biochar to filter water, the benefits of carbon filters in the water purification process is widely recognised. Other uses related to biochar and increasing soil carbon include the carbon trading program, an example of a current project that is managed by the Australian Department of Primary Industries is the Carbon Farming Initiative. This program has a variety of methodologies where producers gain carbon credits and incentives by undertaking practices that store (Mitigate) or prevent (abatement) carbon emissions. The Carbon Trade Exchange is a trader who buys carbon credits from producers then sells the credits to producers of high volumes of greenhouse gases.

Where do I apply BIOCHAR?

The most effective place to apply biochar for plant production is around a plants root zone. Mix with a potting mix or soil when you are planting and inject into the seedbed when planting field crops. As biochar is a form of stable carbon it may be broadcast over a soil mixed with fertiliser, lime and other mineral or mixed with compost and incorporated. Carbon water-filters canisters and aquarium filters may be recharged with specific types of biochar. In certain situations biochar extracts may be used in stock nutrition products.





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