RE: [EXTERN] [Biochar] new article on PYCCS and introduce PyC

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Anderson, Paul

Jan 16, 2022, 6:15:35 PMJan 16
to Theodore Lim,, Jeff Waldon, Carbon Dioxide Removal

I thank Dr. Theo Lim (correspondence author for the  article) for permission to resend his email reply that is below.


He mentions the well known article and graphic by Minx et al. (2018).   I have written  previously with specific mention of the inadequacies of that graphic.   See    Understanding Carbon Dioxide Removal and Storage (CDRS)  paper at  .    (pages 4 – 10).   [I then presented a revision of the classification  system that has more consistency and ease of understanding.]


Here today I make a suggestion that the acronym     PyC    (pronounced   “pike”) be used to refer to   Pyrolytic Carbon       which  solid (elemental) carbon that is created during pyrolysis and commonly called charcoal or biochar (which have difference but both are PyC)


When the PyC is intended for sequestration (that is, long-term Storage), we add an    S   to make it    PyCS   (pronounced   “pikes” ).   That is a small but IMO sufficient difference from       PyCCS     which has the     CCS connotation associated with BECCS and DACCS and  other engineered  carbon  CAPTURE, which give the extra letter “C”    in CCS.       We note that biochar production does NOT CAPTURE any Carbon Dioxide.   Such capture is done by the plants that create the biomass of carbohydrates (no longer CO2).    Pyrolysis turns carbohydrates in pyrolytic carbon, which is   PyC.


If there is need to discuss multiple biochars, that would be     PyCs      (lower case “s” for plural, not upper case “S” for Storage or Sequestration.).      The  English language sometimes is not easy, but we can try  to be clear.


Having explained    PyC     in this single email message gives it zero life-span unless Hans-Peter and Claudia and others and organizations use it.    Maybe someone will use it in an article or educational material.  


I will use it (and repeatedly define it) because I work with pyrolytic carbon  (i.e.    PyC  ), , also known as biochar, which has no accepted abbreviation because   BC    has a loooooooong tradition to mean Black  Carbon (which is not biochar.)




Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:

         Email:       Skype:   paultlud

         Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434

Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to: 

Inventor of RoCC kilns and author of Biochar white paper :  See  


From: Theodore Lim <>
Sent: Sunday, January 16, 2022 3:44 PM
To: Anderson, Paul <>
Cc: Jeff Waldon <>
Subject: Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] new article on PYCCS


Hi Paul and Jeff (I didn't not reply to the group, since I am not on that listserv, but please feel free to forward my answer if you think it is appropriate),

Thanks Paul for your comments. As Claudia mentioned, we cannot take credit for coining the term "PyCCS" -- we actually refer to a 2018 article by Werner et al in Environmental Research Letters and a 2019 article by Schmidt et al in GCB Bioenergy that both use the term. I think the question you bring up about CCS referring to C in this case and not to the conventional CO2 and this being an "uphill battle" is an interesting one. One of the reasons I had hoped to look at this particular configuration is because I believe that the large-scale CO2 capture facilities are so often presumed as the only configuration of carbon sequestration through engineered processes, and I believe there are some major issues with this presumption. I also agree with there being a lot of confusion about terminology, and I wonder how much of this is because biochar may play a dual role: as an energy source (as in biocoal), and as a stable form of carbon, removed through biogenic-thermochemical processes, from the atmosphere. Biochar can therefore both be characterized as a land-based negative emissions technology (with afforestation/reforestation and soil carbon sequestration), and as a chemistry-based NET. See the below typology from Minx et al's 2018 Environmental Research Letters article.



Also to address Claudia's concern about the use of both PyCCS and PyBECCS in our paper, this was done mostly in order to distinguish between the production of biochar through pyrolysis on its own versus the production of biochar to meet an energy demand.


I'd be very interested to hear more of your thoughts on this!





On Thu, Jan 13, 2022 at 3:13 PM Anderson, Paul <> wrote:

Jeff W and Claudia and I have included  T.C. Lim, the corresponding author of the article,


Our specific topic  is the nomenclature associate with BECCS and PyCCS and other suggested names.   The article by TCLim et al. 2022 has a specific example of a hospital (PGH) that was based on heating oil.   The explanatory diagram on  page 7 uses the  4 acronyms and show inclusion of heating  oil in 3 of the 4.   Such a specific situation should not be the basis for fundamental defining of terminology that relates to biochar.   So I think that we should not over-react toward accepting or rejecting such terminology in that one article.   The article has values far beyond the terminology topic, and should be discussed in a separate thread of emails (and we probably should switch this names topic to a different thread). 


Instead, I think that the biochar community can / should seek clarity of what we define as the appropriate (and sometimes equivalent) terms.


I am starting to like the PyCCS name better as time passes.   But I have my doubts.    It is unfortunate that CCS by itself has an established specific meaning referring to  capturing the carbon from smokestacks, referring to Carbon Dioxide gases that can be collected as Carbon Dioxide liquids or solids.     “CCS” in general usage is about CO2.    And biochar is about C  (carbon itself).       So the PyCCS name is fighting an uphill battle of biochar versus CO2 as what is being stored.              In short, does the   leading    Py    (that replaces the    BE   used in   BECCS)   sufficiently communicate to the experts and to the general public that we are NOT referring to the capture of CO2 ???    I say at it does not do so sufficiently, at least not at present and maybe only if there was a massive educational campaign to make that message clear.


IN FACT,     sequestration of atmospheric carbon via biochar into soils has ZERO,  (none, null, nada) of CO2 capture by the biochar itself.   The CO2 capture is done by plants with photosynthesis.       Biochar  production is a transformation  of carbohydrates with some of the carbon atoms becoming solid carbon.    I have emphasized this with graphics and words in my document and video.   It basically says that biochar is a diverting of plant matter to provide long-term removal that the plants accomplished without any dependence on biochar.


·  Understanding Carbon Dioxide Removal and Storage (CDRS) [2021-02-18]   Video   |   Paper


The biochar community needs clarity and it needs to educate about that clarity.  And we (persons and organizations) are falling short on that task.  




Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:

         Email:       Skype:   paultlud

         Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434

Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to: 

Inventor of RoCC kilns and author of Biochar white paper :  See  

Author of “A Capitalist Carol” (free digital copies at

         with pages 88 – 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.


From: <> On Behalf Of Claudia Kammann via
Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2022 5:10 AM
Subject: Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] new article on PYCCS


[This message came from an external source. If suspicious, report to]

Dear Jeff,


could you probably send me the paper pdf? Just a curious question from me – you seem to have carved the term PyBECCS – why not use PyCCS? (This could also be due to me not being able to view the entire paper… we invented the term PyCCS with the 2019 paper in GCB-Bioenergy and it’s interesting where it pops up or doesn’t. Just curious.)


best regards




Von: <> Im Auftrag von jeff waldon
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 12. Januar 2022 15:35
Betreff: [EXTERN] [Biochar] new article on PYCCS


See for new article from Virginia Tech on PYCCS.

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Tom Goreau

Jan 21, 2022, 5:16:36 PMJan 21
to Anderson, Paul, Theodore Lim,, Jeff Waldon, Carbon Dioxide Removal

Why do you say Biochar is not Black Carbon? Isn’t black carbon the extreme high temperature end member of the biochar continuum?


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Anderson, Paul

Jan 21, 2022, 6:02:06 PMJan 21
to Tom Goreau, Theodore Lim,, Jeff Waldon, Carbon Dioxide Removal



Good question.    I found this abstract that is informative:



Airborne particles containing elemental carbon (EC) are currently at the forefront of scientific and regulatory scrutiny, including black carbon, carbon black, and engineered carbon-based nanomaterials, e.g., carbon nanotubes, fullerenes, and graphene. Scientists and regulators sometimes group these EC-containing particles together, for example, interchangeably using the terms carbon black and black carbon despite one being a manufactured product with well-controlled properties and the other being an undesired, incomplete-combustion byproduct with diverse properties. In this critical review, we synthesize information on the contrasting properties of EC-containing particles in order to highlight significant differences that can affect hazard potential. We demonstrate why carbon black should not be considered a model particle representative of either combustion soots or engineered carbon-based nanomaterials. Overall, scientific studies need to distinguish these highly different EC-containing particles with care and precision so as to forestall unwarranted extrapolation of properties, hazard potential, and study conclusions from one material to another. 


But I still do not know about these issues.  Maybe others can clarify.




Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website:

         Email:       Skype:   paultlud

         Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434

Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP    Go to: 

Inventor of RoCC kilns and author of Biochar white paper :  See  

Author of “A Capitalist Carol” (free digital copies at

         with pages 88 – 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.


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