Re: FW: The IPCC starts to acknowledge biochar

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Lloyd Helferty

Oct 22, 2018, 2:00:27 AM10/22/18
to, Don Trott, CBI (Canadian Biochar Initiative) [google], Biochar-Ontario

Thanks LofA.

  Yes, I did see this and read the article.

"the EU is obliged to fund research in negative emission technologies due to the Paris Agreement"

Please note the Terminology used: "pyrogenic carbon capture and storage (PyCCS)".


"In the 15th IPCC special report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C (, biochar and pyrogenic carbon capture and storage are, for the first time, cited and credited as promising negative emission technology. While in the Summary for Policymakers biochar is not explicitly mentioned, soil carbon sequestration was included."

"Technical solutions to extract CO2 from the atmosphere including direct air capture, enhanced weathering and artificial ocean alkalinization are promising geoengineering approaches. However they are, to different degrees, either not yet mature or available at the needed scale; or the risk of large scale implementation may still be considered too high."

"Thus, despite technological progress, photosynthesis in green plants, algae and other organisms is still the most efficient method to extract CO2 from the atmosphere. An increase of terrestrial and marine biomass production, combined where possible with the sequestration of a significant part of its accumulated carbon, is therefore considered the carbon dioxide removal strategy that may be implemented the most rapidly, and with the lowest risk for other geological and ecological processes."

"Apart from afforestation, bioenergy production with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) was the only NET included in the mitigation scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report. The BECCS scenario anticipates that biomass combustion could become a major pathway for clean energy production and that capturing and storing the emitted CO2 would become a synergistic technology. Besides the known and unknown risks of geological storage of CO2 and its high costs (>150 USD per t CO2, BECCS is increasingly being recognized as potentially harmful to ecosystem services and the integrity of the biosphere if implemented at scale."

"Alternatively, carbon dioxide removal could be achieved through increased biomass production in the terrestrial system, combined with the extension of the mean residence time (MRT) of the biogenic carbon (i.e. net C sequestration)." ... "A complementary way forward to extend the MRT of biogenic C in the terrestrial system and to increase C-efficiencies is the pyrolytic treatment of biomass with subsequent sequestration in the bio-, geo-, and anthroposphere."

"Biochar and bio-oil sequestration in soils or bio-materials, do not present ecological hazards when produced and controlled properly. Global scale-up appears feasible within a timeframe of 10 to 30 years."


In the extended report, biochar appears in the following sections: CDR technologies and deployment levels in 1.5°C-consistent pathways Sustainability implications of CDR deployment in 1.5°C-consistent pathways Soil Carbon Sequestration and Biochar


"On the whole, the attention paid by the IPCC to pyrogenic carbon capture and storage (PyCCS) is marginal considering that no other negative emission technology is ready to scale-up, is economically more favorable or has comparable positive side effects on ecosystem services, agriculture and food security. However, considering the complex procedures involved in editing the IPCC reports, the inclusion of biochar is an important step forward to prepare the ground for the development of PyCCS as a key global climate technology. It is important to keep in mind that, although more than 10,000 scientific publications have been written on special aspects of biochar, bio-oil and pyrolysis, relatively few articles interlink their research with the science of  climate change science to be found at the core of IPCC reports and are thus poorly received by climate science experts."

CC: CBI (Canadian Biochar Initiative) and Biochar-Ontario [google groups]


Lloyd Helferty, Executive Director
Resilient World Institute (RWI)
5 Shields Court, Suite 108
Markham, Ontario, L3R 0G3
cell: 647-886-8754
Engineering Technologist &  Principal, Biochar Consulting (Canada)
  System Leader and Sector Expert for the "Climate Smart" Platform
  & Project Development Director, Energime University
  A member of The Energime Family of Companies
  "Education, training, knowledge and empowerment for responsible environmental management and resource sustainability."
  Not-for-profit Tax Exempt Status: 501(3C) DLN 17053330310044
  48 Suncrest Blvd, Thornhill, ON, Canada
  Skype: lloyd.helferty
  Co-founder, CSF Consulting Group
  and Science for Peace (SfP) CoSWoG Climate Smart Food sub-Working Group (CSFWG)
  Founder, "Future Farming" group
  Steering Committee coordinator, Canadian Biochar Initiative (CBI)
  Chair, Community Sustainability (CoSWoG), A working group of Science for Peace!forum/coswog
  President, Co-founder & CBI Liaison, Biochar-Ontario
  Manager, Biochar Offsets Group:
  Advisory Committee Member, International Biochar Initiative (IBI)
  Sustainable Biochar Expert, Passive Remediation Systems Ltd. (PRS)
  Former Promotions Manager, Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network (CSAYN)

"The best way to predict the future is to create it."​ - Willy Brandt
On 2018-10-21 8:58 PM, wrote:

Lloyd/Don do you receive this?

“Biochar was included for the first time as a promising negative emission technology (NET) in the new IPCC special report.”

Lloyd of Ashton

From: Ithaka Newsletter
Sent: October 21, 2018 6:46 PM
To: lw.strachan
Subject: The IPCC starts to acknowledge biochar


©Ithaka Institut

Dear Friends of Ithaka,

The prospects of climate change are so increasingly dire that there are times when it may seem inappropriate to celebrate a promising scientific advance or any other good news. Good news, however, is exactly what humanity needs at moments like this. And to produce good news, it helps to share them and to create examples that others might replicate.

One such bright spot in the dark is the inclusion of biochar and pyrogenic carbon capture & storage (PyCCS) into the recent IPCC special report. It took more than ten years of global biochar science, technology development and practice before it finally appeared serious and convincing enough to the world’s leading climate scientists to mention biochar-based carbon sequestration as a technology to consider. It may take another five years until policy makers discover and discuss this most promising solution to keep global warming in a range that may still sustain civilization in all regions where human culture prospered during the last millennia. Five more years for us to prepare the groundwork with sophisticated technology, understanding of mechanisms, sustainable certification, and valuable biochar based products. See linked below our extended comments and the decisive, biochar related passages from the new IPCC special report.

At Ithaka we have been hard at work on various other positive developments which we hope will provide inspiring examples such as the forest gardens with organic biochar-based fertilization that we set-up in Nepal. A local journalist, Abhaya Raj Joshi, recently visited one of the villages where more than 50,000 trees were planted and have been linked to a global carbon subscription model since 2015. He interviewed villagers on how the new climate farming methods have changed their lives and the village. 

And last but not least, Kathleen’s new, updated white paper on using biochar in coffee production with lots of new success stories about using biochar in coffee production and processing from three different continents. Thanks to funding received by the Biochar for Sustainable Soils project, you can enjoy the complete white paper with open access.

The Ithaka team will be traveling to Cuba, India, China and the UN climate conference in Poland over the next months to continue with education, research, collaboration and in-field biochar initiatives. As always, we will share with you what we learn and what we believe may be of service to others. We always appreciate hearing about successes and lessons learned by others working collaboratively on biochar projects around the globe, please feel invited to share these with us.

Yours Hans-Peter and Kathleen


Biochar and PyCCS included as negative emission technology by the IPCC

by Hans-Peter Schmidt

Biochar was included for the first time as a promising negative emission technology (NET) in the new IPCC special report. While the special report’s overall message was alarming, the inclusion of biochar is an important milestone for mitigating climate change and fostering research on pyrogenic carbon. We provide here a short summary on pyrogenic carbon capture and storage (PyCCS) and relevant excerpts from the new IPCC special report with regards to PyCCS and biochar.

... mehr


Carbon sequestration to rejuvenate land, water and economy in Nepal

by Abhaya Raj Joshi

Three years after the first 10,000 forest garden trees were planted in a Nepali mountain village and were linked to a new type of private carbon trading scheme, the village received the visit of a young journalist from a national newspaper. His particular insights into the Nepali way of life and policy, make his report about this acclaimed pilot project combining organic biochar based fertilization, mixed tree garden plantation, water retenition, soil conservation, and crop value chain creation a passionate critic.

... mehr


Pyrogenic carbon capture and storage

In this review, we show that pyrolytic carbon capture and storage (PyCCS) can aspire for carbon sequestration efficiencies of >70%, which is shown to be an important threshold to allow PyCCS to become a relevant negative emission technology. Prolonged residence times of pyrogenic carbon can be generated (a) within the terrestrial biosphere including the agricultural use of biochar; (b) within advanced biobased materials as long as they are not oxidized (biochar, biooil); and (c) within suitable geological deposits (biooil and CO2 from permanent pyrogas oxidation).

... mehr


Biochar & Coffee White Paper

by Kathleen Draper

An increasing number of coffee growers use biochar to improve soil fertility and resiliency, reduce dependence on fertilizers, achieve better survival rates for young plants, increase disease resistance and optimize residue management. New peer reviewed information on how biochar can help mitigate coffee rust (roya) and other diseases is presented in addition to benefits related to soil fertility, composting, effluent filtration, renewable energy production, residue management and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions across the entire coffee supply chain.

... mehr


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