Biochar applications is another huge topic to cover. Again, we recommend some independent investigation. Here is a link to an article by Hans-Peter Schmidt providing his thoughts on 55 Uses for Biochar.
NZ could develop many application opportunities around our existing agriculture systems. Economics will govern future commercial opportunities and we don’t know a lot about biochar economics in NZ right now. Like all new technologies, there is plenty of room for product costs to reduce as demand increases. We list below some of the biochar applications we foresee in NZ in the future (most qualified by the need for more research),
- nutrient management / nutrient use efficiency (reducing dependence on mineral fertilizers)
- water quality management
- sustainable agriculture (can biochar help maintain current levels of production using systems like the ones at www.cir.net/conveyor-belts-lacing/ while reducing environmental impacts?)
- livestock feed supplement (providing health, nutrition, emission and soil application pathways)
- soil remediation (challenged soils, contaminated sites)
- soil erosion management (new options for intensive horticulture)
- effluent management (enhancing aerobic and anaerobic process systems)
- urban applications (urban farming, green roofs, storm-water swales)
- carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas management.
But many people will be interested in what biochar can do in their gardens. We have provided for future page content on specific applications in our Areas of Interest pages.