Frequently Asked Questions
Wait a second… what exactly does your technology do?
In simplest terms, the Interra Energy Forge combines the functions of two major industries into one extremely efficient package optimized to produce more of the highest value products and the highest quality of the less valuable products. The two industries were talking about are the charcoal/activated carbon industry and the biomass-to-energy industry.
My friend said biochar production can be carbon NEGATIVE, how can that be true?
To understand how to help reduce carbon dioxide in our air, one should think about the carbon cycle and remember that photosynthesis captures more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than any other process on Earth. However; because biomass always decomposes fairly quickly after the plant that grew it dies, it is of limited use for carbon sequestration. That is, all of the carbon taken out of the air is eventy released right back to the air. This makes the natural carbon cycle neutral. In contrast, carbonized biomass, or biochar, is very stable and remains in the soil for millennia. So as plants take carbon dioxide out of the air and are made into biochar where about half of the carbon taken from the air is stored permenently in the ground, we have created a carbon-cycle loop that has a negative carbon effect on the atmospheric carbon.
Presto! CARBON NEGATIVE!!!
What makes biochar even better is that while it is in the soil for all those years helping cool our planet, it can help that same soil grow more abundant and nutritious food for us to eat. Oh wait, wait… biochar in the soil also can help reduce the amount of water required to grow our food by a lot.
A true no brainer, right? We think so!
Is there scientific research showing increased plant growth with applications of biochar?
Yes. Studies in both tropical and temperate climates have demonstrated biochar’s ability to increase plant growth, reduce leaching of nutrients, increase water retention, and increase benefitial microbial activity. In a study done on a Colombian Oxisol soil, the total above-ground plant biomass increased by 189 percent when biochar was applied at a rate of 23.2 tons per hectare (Major et al. 2005). Research indicates that both biological nitrogen fixation and beneficial mycorrhizal relationships in common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are enhanced by biochar applications (Rondon et al. 2007, Warnock et al. 2007). In Brazil, occurrence of native plant species increased by 63 percent in areas where biochar was applied (Major et al. 2005). Studies have also shown that the characteristics of biochar most important to plant growth can improve over time after its incorporation into soil (Cheng et al. 2006, 2008; Major et al. 2010).
Do you have a question?
Contact us and we’ll do our best to answer it.