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Biochar Basics

June 28, 2018

Biochar Basics

What Is Biochar?

It seems like everyone is talking about biochar these days. More and more growers, turf professionals, landscapers, and nursery managers are utilizing the ancient material. So, what is all the hype about? What is biochar used for?

Biochar has long been used as a carbon-rich soil enhancer and is acknowledged for its potential to support soil health. Biochar is created by pyrolyzing biomass, and the result is a fixed carbon skeleton that sequesters carbon and locks it in place. Biochar is different from compost because it resists breakdown from microbes and provides an ideal habitat for them to live in. Biochar can provide numerous other root zone benefits including water retention and nutrient efficiency. Growers who are interested in optimizing their soil and root environments use biochar as an enhancement to their nutrient and fertilizer regimes.

But, there’s a catch: raw biochar can perform unpredictably and not all biochars are created equal. The source material and processing can mean the difference between healthy and long-lasting plants or rework and warranty claims.

Fortunately, the team at Cool Planet has made important advancements in technology to harness the best qualities of biochar and eliminate the bad to deliver substantial soil health benefits. In fact, our engineered biocarbon™ technology, called Cool Terra® Organic, is a biochar-based soil enhancer that is scientifically produced to a strict specification to provide consistent and predictable performance.

We use advanced techniques to select the proper biomass and then clean and treat the raw biochar. Then we post-treat the raw biochar: adjusting the pH to neutral, flipping it from hydrophobic to hydrophilic so that it attracts water and doesn’t repel it, and removing detrimental residues. This means Cool Terra is ready to be used right out of the bag.

Cool Terra is highly porous which is beneficial for water holding. It has a high ion exchange capacity and can promote nutrient exchange and availability, holding nutrients in the root zone longer and making them easily accessible to roots for uptake. Lastly, this porous structure made from neutral, strong and durable fixed carbon walls, acts like a coral reef, to provide a habitat that can optimize microbial populations that protect against stressors and diseases.

Cool Terra is a consistent, durable, and granular material that is high in fixed organic carbon. Fixed carbon works in a complementary fashion to other forms of soil carbon like compost or humics but will resist breaking down biologically over time. This means that it will stay in the soil and maintain its physical, chemical, and biological properties over many years. For those using perlite or vermiculite, try replacing them in part with Cool Terra as it provides key benefits of both! By the way, Cool Terra Organic sequesters carbon from the atmosphere and puts it into the soil where it is the most beneficial. What does this all mean? It means your crops, as well as turf and landscape installations and renovations, can be more successful and long-lasting. Leading to greater grower profitability and sustainability, happier customers, and reduced warranty claims and rework.

Call us at 303-221-2029 for more information on our biochar-based, engineered biocarbon™ technology. Purchase Cool Terra® Organic today.

 

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