Mineral-enriched biochar delivers enhanced nutrient recovery and carbon dioxide removal

Buss, Wolfram
Wurzer, Christian
Manning, David A. C.
Rohling, Eelco J.
Borevitz, Justin
Mašek, Ondřej
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Springer Nature
Biochar production via biomass pyrolysis with subsequent burial in soils provides a carbon dioxide removal technology that is ready for implementation, yet uptake requires acceleration; notably, through generation of cost reductions and co-benefits. Here we find that biomass enrichment (doping) with refined minerals, mineral by-products, or ground rocks reduces carbon loss during pyrolysis, lowering carbon dioxide removal costs by 17% to US$ 80–150 t−1 CO2, with 30% savings feasible at higher biomass costs. As a co-benefit, all three additives increase plant-available nutrient levels. Doping with potassium-bearing minerals can increase both potassium and phosphorus release. Mineral doping in biochar production therefore offers carbon dioxide removal at lower costs, while alleviating global phosphorus and potassium shortages. This makes it unique among carbon dioxide removal technologies.
© The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Version of Scholarly Record of this Article is published in Nature Communications Earth & Environment, available online at: https://www.nature.com/articles/s43247-022-00394-w . Keywords: carbon cycles; climate-change mitigation; element cycles; geochemistry.
Buss, W., Wurzer, C., Manning, D.A.C. et al. Mineral-enriched biochar delivers enhanced nutrient recovery and carbon dioxide removal. Commun Earth Environ 3, 67 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-022-00394-w