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Turning waste into opportunity: The feasibility stage of our biochar project

In the lush landscapes of Uganda, a groundbreaking feasibility study on our biochar project is underway to harness the power of nature-based solutions and capture carbon using an innovative method. 

The feasibility stage of our biochar project_Dr Anubhav Mohiley examines the quality of baggasse_visual 1Dr Anubhav Mohiley examines the quality of baggasse (the fibrous waste from sugar cane which could be processed into biochar) with Moses Ssemahunge and Jonus Kirungi.

Biochar is a carbon-rich, charcoal-like substance produced through the process of pyrolysis, which involves burning biomass waste such as agricultural residues, waste, or organic matter in the absence of oxygen. It is a potent tool for carbon capture and storage, improving soil fertility, promoting ecosystem health, and offering sustainable waste management solutions.

Biochar can be created from abundant waste streams, such as bagasse (a by-product of sugarcane), sawdust, maize stock, coffee waste, groundnut shells, or rice husks. Our team of experts is currently conducting a study on the best possible avenues for setting up a carbon project producing biochar. Biochar production holds the key to not only removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere but also generating valuable carbon removal credits, opening up new avenues for sustainable development and environmental conservation. Depending on the type of resource used, 14% to 25% of the primary material can be converted into biochar.

The feasibility stage of our biochar project_Biochar production illustration_visual 2 (1)The biochar production process.

The potential of biochar

Biochar, a charcoal-like substance, offers a multitude of benefits that make it a promising climate solution:

  • Carbon sequestration: Biochar acts as a long-term carbon sink, effectively capturing and storing carbon from biomass waste streams. By utilising these waste materials, we can reduce carbon emissions while simultaneously sequestering carbon in a stable form for a very long time.
  • Soil health improvement: When incorporated into agricultural soils, biochar enhances soil fertility, water retention, and nutrient availability. This promotes better crop yields, reducing the need for synthetic fertilisers and mitigating soil degradation.
  • Ecosystem restoration: The use of biochar in land restoration initiatives can revive degraded soils, aiding reforestation efforts and promoting biodiversity conservation. Biochar also enhances soil microbial activity, facilitating natural nutrient cycling.
  • Waste management: By transforming agricultural and forestry residues into biochar, we can address the issue of waste management, reducing the environmental impact of these materials while turning them into valuable resources.

The feasibility stage of our biochar project_Group photo_visual 3DGB team photo at the biochar project facilities, Uganda.

Forging a greener future

As the feasibility study of our biochar project progresses in Uganda, we are optimistic about the transformative potential of biochar as a nature-based solution. By capturing carbon, improving soil health, promoting ecosystem restoration, and addressing waste management challenges, biochar holds the promise of sustainable development and a greener future. Through this project, we plan to demonstrate the viability and effectiveness of biochar, paving the way for broader adoption and scaling of this innovative climate solution. Together, let’s unlock the power of nature and create a more resilient and sustainable world.

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