Biochar from agricultural waste


An Austrian company has developed a pyrolysis processes for the production of biochar from agricultural residues.

The biochar is made out of carbonized grain hulls. Straw, compost from biowaste and non industrial sewage sludge, residues of a biogas facility and mineral elements are added to create different product lines. All components are collected within a radius of 70 km and used to produce:

- Synthetic Terra Preta

- Black earth and synthetic chernozems (type of naturally occuring very fertile black earth)

- Synthetic terra preta (very fertile type of soil formed by human activity of the indigenous rainforest populace)

- Long term fertilizers for organic farming

- Gardening soils

- Soils for landscaping

- Feed coal enhancing animal growth and health

- Litter coal retaining odour of manure

Farmers are crucial actors for ensuring the circularity of the practice. They benefit of an economic advantage when selling residues as input material for the processing industry. This is transformed into a value added product for farming, cattle breeding and stock farming, which entails the following properties:

• Caching of nutrients in the "manure sponge"

• Nutrients plant-available on the field

• No leaching of manure nutrients into the groundwater

• Carbon storage in the field

• In case of long-term application simultaneously humus structure

• Better water storage capacity of the soil

Nikos Kyriakoulis