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Biochar Market

What is biochar?

Biochar is a stable form of carbon obtained from sustainable sources such as biomass and is the only actual carbon capture and storage system available in the world today. The substance is known for being extremely rich in carbon and its ability to inhabit the earth for thousands of years.

Biochar is the by-product of exposing organic matter, such as wood and crop waste, to high temperatures in a low oxygen environment. 

This process is known as pyrolysis, an ancient method for making charcoal currently used to produce emissions-free hydrogen. Human application of this extraordinary charcoal-like substance dates back to pre-Columbian Amazonians, who used it to improve soil fertility.

Biochar can be sequestered in soils to enhance their agricultural and environmental value. According to a NSW Ag Department trial, the state’s corn experienced yield growth from 13 to 35t/ha by utilising the material.

Biochar is becoming increasingly popular because it turns biomass waste streams into revenue whilst having an incredible impact on the environment and climate.

Currently, it has market demand across various sectors — livestock (feed), steelmaking, agriculture (fertiliser), construction materials, & animal bedding — and is sold for upwards of $545 per tonne. 

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Benefits of Biochar:

  • Biochar can significantly reduce the need for fertiliser, creating a large opportunity to fill the vacuum in an agriculture market that is seeing product shortages and subsequent price increases.
  • Protects the environment from harmful chemical runoff, as it decreases the amount of synthetic fertiliser needed for crops.
  • As a feed additive, biochar reduces the need for antibiotics while also increasing the overall health and yield of livestock.
  • Effective regenerative agriculture strategy, as it restores soil carbon that has been lost due to previous farming practices and speeds up the process of the carbon stored in the soil faster than any other method.
  • Assists in building soil microbes, key to regenerating soils, some of which build nitrogen in the soil.
  • Increases water holding capacity so water is saved and can be used more efficiently.
  • When blended into a standard cement mix, it can reinforce the overall strength by 20%.
  • The production of biochar removes carbon from the atmosphere opening up the opportunity for lucrative carbon credits, which can generate millions of dollars in revenue per year.
  • Biochar can be used in biochar-graphene composites, which has been touted as the strongest material known to exist, 200 times stronger than steel, lighter than paper, and with extraordinary mechanical and electrical properties.
  • Recent studies have demonstrated that biochar-based materials show great application potential in energy storage and conversion because of their easily tuned surface chemistry and porosity.
  • Biochar can be used for green steel production by replacing coal in electric arc furnaces.

Global Biochar Market

  • The international biochar market is estimated to reach US$3.1 billion by 2025, growing at an average CAGR of 13.2%. Demand in the Asia Pacific region is predicted to increase significantly, as the product is becoming more and more prevalent in livestock feed and organic farming.
  • Market growth is driven by advancements in pyrolysis technology to produce hydrogen, accounting for 63.4% of total revenue.
  • The global biochar market is forecasted to surpass a valuation of US$6.3 billion by 2031. Substantial market development can be attributed to organisations like the United Nations deeming it a highly effective strategy for reducing environmental pollution worldwide.

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