Environmental News from India:
- Biochar, material obtained from thermochemical conversion of biomass, has the potential to sequester carbon.
- Biochar helps in soil improvement and reduces use of synthetic fertilizers.
- Cost and other constraints need to be addressed for the technique to become popular.
- Biochar has the potential for climate mitigation but is not an alternative to reducing the use of fossil fuels, emphasise experts.
Biochar, charcoal produced from the plant material and stored underground for a long time, can emerge as a nature-based solution that could help in climate mitigation and address sustainable development goals, a new review suggests.
The review by a team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT Delhi) estimates that biochar could sequestrate an average of 376.11 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent carbon in the soil, and could help India reduce 41.41–63.26% of emissions from agricultural and its allied activities.
In addition, biochar is a potential natural solution to improve soils, as it increases soil fertility and microbial activity; and can be added as a compost. It also can help in water treatment, which would help it address sustainable development goals (SDGs) focusing on good health and well-being, clean water and sanitation, the review led by Priyanka Kaushal, assistant professor at IIT’s Centre for Rural Development and Technology, says.
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