A new study is assessing the permanence of biochar carbon removal in terms of locking away the CO2 from going back to the atmosphere. The results are groundbreaking and point to higher durability than previously considered.
The research is peer-reviewed by Hamed Sanei, Arka Rudra, Zia Møller Moltesen Przyswitt, Sofie Kousted, Marco Benkhettab Sindlev, Xiaowei Zheng, Søren Bom Nielsen, and Henrik Ingermann Petersen from Aarhus University and the Geological Survey of Denmark & Greenland. It is called Assessing biochar’s permanence: An inertinite benchmark.
The study shows that among the 64 European biochar samples examined, 76% can be classified as pure inertinite. Inertinite refers to one of the most stable forms of carbon present in the Earth’s crust and is considered an ultimate benchmark of organic carbon permanence in the environment.
The oxidation kinetic reaction model for a typical inertinite biochar, or the biochar produced by using controlled pyrolysis to rapidly carbonize and transform biomass for permanent storage, indicates a time frame of approximately 100 million years for the degradation and loss of half of the carbon in the biochar.
The analysis also shows that biochar produced at temperatures exceeding 550 degrees celsius meets the inertinite benchmark. The study’s estimates assume exposure to a highly oxidizing environment with a constant surface temperature of 30°C. In a less hostile environment, the expected permanence of inertinite is generally anticipated to be longer.
The analysis sheds new light on biochar carbon removal durability showing the bigger part of it can last for much longer than the commonly seen industry threshold of 1,000 years.