Biochar is essentially charcoal made under carefully controlled conditions. By burning carbon-rich compounds in the absence of air (pyrolysis), the volatile and non-carbon components are burnt off, leaving much of the carbon behind as a solid ‘char’.
This has particular properties that make it valuable as a means of storing carbon, especially in the soil. It has been found in stable condition after thousands of years, making biochar a potentially useful tool in carbon sequestration and storage.
Biochar can be made from any readily available carbon source, e.g. wood and agricultural residues such as rice husks, nut shells and beet tops, and the quality of this source material (feedstock) partly determines the properties of the biochar. For example, if the feedstock is nutrient-rich, so will be the char. By-products of pyrolysis include a biogas and a tar, both of which have useful applications.
The Centre for Alternative Technology(CAT) has release a new Zero Carbon Report. This major 200 page report shows how Britain become carbon neutral. A modern, zero-emissions society is possible using technology available today.
40% of UK carbon emissions come from households. Get active - 10 things you can do now that will make a difference.
Make sure lights are switched off and doors are closed in rooms that are not being used.
Put on an extra jumper and turn your heating thermostat down by 2 degrees.
Have a ‘no car day’ once a week.
Talk about climate change with family, friends and work colleagues. Share your thoughts and ideas.
Create a wildlife friendly garden, encourage bees, birds and other wildlife. Don’t use pesticides or herbicides, look for eco friendly alternatives.
Support local wildlife trusts/groups.
Think twice before buying clothes or goods - do you really need them? Malvern Repair Cafe can repair most things for a donation.
Reduce, reuse and recycle everything where possible. Request non plastic packaging on your online purchases. Malvern and Worcester have a shop to refill your household cleaners, soaps and dried foods, bring your own containers.
Buy local foods wherever possible. We are lucky to have Greenlink in Great Malvern and Natural Choice in Barnards Green that sell local produce. Cut down on your meat eating.