Terra Preta: Black is the New Green – David Zaks and Chad Monfreda @ this World Chaging article
1. Technical geosequestration methods for CO2 could pump large amounts of CO2 deep underground but are still under development. On the other hand, natural methods that store carbon in living ecosystems may be possible in the short term but require huge swathes of land
2. An ideal solution, however, would combine the quick fix of biological methods with the absolute potential of technical ones. Terra preta may do just that.
3. Amazonian Dark Earth, or terra preta do indio is three times richer in nitrogen and phosphorous, and twenty times the carbon of normal soils, terra preta is the legacy of ancient Amazonians who predate Western civilization…
4. The difference between terra preta and ordinary soils is immense. A hectare of meter-deep terra preta can contain 250 tonnes of carbon, as opposed to 100 tonnes in unimproved soils from similar parent material…
5. There are some who believe that that a strategy combining biochar with biofuels could ultimately offset 9.5 billion tons of carbon per year-an amount equal to the total current fossil fuel emissions!
6. Danny Day, the founder of a company called Eprida is experimenting with systems that turn farm waste into hydrogen, biofuel, and biochar. He says, “We don’t maximize for hydrogen; we don’t maximize for biodisel; we don’t maximize for char…By being a little bit inefficient in each, we approximate nature and get a completely efficient cycle.”
7. Terra preta’s full beauty appears in this closed loop. Unlike traditional sequestration rates that follow diminishing marginal returns-aquifers fill up, forests mature-practices based on terra preta see increasing returns.
Full article here
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