Josh Kearns is researching use of biochar from simple home-made stoves to treat contaminated groundwater or agricultural runoff. He is also a winning contestant in Bill Gates' competition for grants to "reinvent the toilet".
How Biochar Will Help Kenya Go Green And Save Money
Jason Aramburu's company Re:char makes "rutuba kilns" in containerized mobile factories, to sell to farmers for a modest price. "Then the farmer can apply the biochar directly to his field to make it more fertile, or take the biochar and turn it into charcoal briquettes which they can use as fuel to cook food. We find that it only takes the farmer about six months to reap the savings from the briquettes and the increased crop yield necessary to pay for the kiln."
Kelpie Wilson writes about Baron Justus Liebig, who researched the applications of charcoal long before the age of industrial agriculture: "In the 19th century, the issues that biochar could help solve were related to health, disease, poverty, and above all, the recycling of human sewage to replenish the soil."
Climate Solutions: Biochar Goes Commercial But Struggles Without Impact Investment
Farming in harsh environments in Qatar: this soil is extremely salty and the area subject to temperatures as high as 50 degrees Celsius. By applying mycorrhizae, or soil fungus, to root systems this project has demonstrated high agricultural yields without any chemical fertilizers! Biochar is not part of this project, but can provide a good matrix for harboring mycorrhizae.
The findings of a recent research project show that bacteria has the ability to share electrons with the inanimate things that surround the microbes, allowing the species to enjoy rapid growth, Scientific American reports.