Circle Carbon – The Benefits of Biochar

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Circle Carbon is a wonderful experiment ironically situated right behind a landfill. Uniquely positioned on the Balearic island of Mallorca, lies a hopeful solution for today’s climate crisis.

Their vision is simple:

Company based on supporting the environment, respecting people’s needs and bringing awareneess on human resilience realities.

Their mission is ambitious:

  • soil regeneration
  • bio produce
  • waste management
  • carbon caputre
  • food security

Applying a thousand-year old technology found in the Brazilian Amazon, the method of “Terra Preta” creates carbon negative and highly nutrient rich soil.

How? By applying BioChar

BioChar is made from burning organic waste residues, tree cuttings and other agricultural waste. The biochar is then mixed with a recipe of organic minerals and nutrients, more (unburned) biomass waste, and allowed to compost, giving microorganisms the ideal habitat to convert the biomass to nutrient rich soil.

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i’m sure you’re thinking…but wait? burning biomass emits greenhouse gases…

Making Biochar also traps CO2 gas in the carbonized biomass and creates a “soil reef” where valuable microorganisms can multiply, making nutrients and minerals more available to plants, that in turn make these nutrients and minerals available to us. This ability to make the char recalcitrant, or permanent, makes it carbon negative, or a valuable method to mitigate climate change by fixing, or “trapping” the CO2 in the char, and putting it back into the soil, where it belongs.

The benefits of “TerraLlum” Biochar

With organic biochar, the nutrients present in soil can be better stored, the delivery and bioavailability of nutrients improved which in turn leads to more efficient results. With regular use, soils are permanently improved, which translates into better growth, higher yields and healthier plants. The use of our organic Biochar promotes and improves;

  • Soil Health – through long-term stewardship; increased microbial activity, water retention, reduced soil compaction
  • Climate Stability – through careful monitoring of the net carbon footprint of our activities;
  • Water Use – through making agricultural production at all scales cleaner and more efficient;
  • Biological Diversity – through the use of sustainably produced feed stocks only;
  • Waste Avoidance – through better use of biomass waste;
  • Food Security – through improving soils and conserving agricultural land; increased production and quality
  • Energy Security – through energy efficiency and utilizing excess energy from biochar production;
  • Community Health – through respecting and investing in our communities; and more.

Soil Regeneration

Our soil has its origins in the Amazon Jungle, where “Terra Preta”, or “Black Soil” was first discovered some 100 years ago. It was found that these soils were extremely fertile, something that cannot occur naturally in the Amazon, due to the heavy rainfall that washes naturally occurring top soil away, so they are anthropocene, or man-made. Terra Preta soils have been dated up to 8000 years old. The main differentiating ingredient in Terra Preta is BioChar.

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Bio Waste Management

We make BioChar from organic waste residues, tree cuttings and other agricultural waste. The biochar is then mixed with a recipe of organic minerals and nutrients, more (unburned) biomass waste, and allowed to compost, giving microorganisms the ideal habitat to convert the biomass to nutrient rich soil.

Carbon Capture

Making Biochar also traps CO2 gas in the carbonized biomass and creates a “soil reef” where valuable microorganisms can multiply, making nutrients and minerals more available to plants, that in turn make these nutrients and minerals available to us. This ability to make the char recalcitrant, or permanent, makes it carbon negative, or a valuable method to mitigate climate change by fixing, or “trapping” the CO2 in the char, and putting it back into the soil, where it belongs.

Food Security

Ten million hectares of fertile soil are disappearing on the planet every year, that’s the size of Portugal, and it’s not coming back if we continue with agriculture as usual. Soils in the Mediterranean have on average less than 1% of carbon, or organic matter; by definition that puts our Mediterranean soils in a category of “pre-desertification”, incapable of supplying food to its population. Although Mallorca and the Balearic islands can boast 33% of its agricultural land to be certified organic, the islands import 88% of their food from the mainland Spain, themselves suffering under a changing climate and extreme weather.

Food Security is about reversing this trend, putting value on locally produced, organic and nutrient rich foods. To do this we have to start thinking about our soils, that’s why at Circle Carbon it’s all about regenerating soil and showing how we can increase our Food Security by adopting smart agriculture for real food.

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