Thousands Year-Old Process Could Help Defeat Global Warming

Biochar Welsh scientists are looking at the ancient practices of Amazonian Indians who developed a process some 6,000 years ago that could help to trap carbon dioxide and lower greenhouse gas levels. Photo: International Biochar Inititiative.

Robin Turner from the Western Mail reports:

“A process invented thousands of years ago by Amazonian Indians could play a key role in defeating global warming, experts in Wales claim today.

The scientists from Swansea University have established a research group to develop the little-known but potentially planet-saving product Biochar. It is is made when vegetable waste is burned in the absence of oxygen, a process called pyrolysis.

The substance was first discovered in the Amazon where Indians used it to fertilise the rainforest’s nutrient-poor soil, between 2,500 and 6,000 years ago. It is an extremely good fertiliser, because it contains high levels of nutrients vital for plant growth, like nitrogen, phosphate, and calcium. It is also highly porous, which helps soil retain water, and provides a solid environment for various microbes that are beneficial for plant growth. Plus it locks carbon dioxide away, possibly for thousands of years.”

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