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Hot summer, scorching planet – how about “good” carbon and ‘global cooling’?

Carbon is bad for the climate; that’s now common knowledge. But there is also “good” carbon, which makes it possible for us to store CO2and helps us to cool the climate down. The ‘Fachverband Pflanzenkohle’ [Specialist Association for Vegetable Carbon] now intends to provide information and support for “good” carbon.

Dr Susanne Vester, Chairperson of the Fachverband Pflanzenkohle, explained to me everything that the “good” vegetable carbon is capable of and how it is produced:


“Vegetable carbon has many properties! It is used as an additive in skin cream, feed, wastewater filters or as a fertiliser, leading to better soils without leaching them. 55 completely different applications for vegetable carbon have been tested so far. The advantages of vegetable carbon for agriculture are enormous. It is mainly the fine porous structure and large internal surface that makes the ecological all-rounder with its various applications so successful.


Farmers repeatedly tell us about the many positive effects of vegetable carbon on their farms. They report a reduction in vet costs and a pleasant climate in animal accommodation and even less frequent use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides in the fields. And the Stockholm Biochar Project has shown that trees planted in cities with biochar can withstand exceptionally difficult conditions (high soil compaction, drought, exposure to heat and emissions), even in this hot summer. As trees contribute to balancing the micro-climate in a particular way, especially in cities, the incorporation of biochar into the soil around the trees ensures long-term storage of nutrients and carbon.

Vegetable carbon is manufactured from waste material accrued in agriculture or gardening: Hedges, tree or grass clippings, but also cereal husks and other waste materials are carbonised at very high temperatures and with exclusion of oxygen. Selecting the right vegetable carbon is decisive for later use. Vegetable carbon with varying degrees of potential impact is produced, depending on the source material, amount of time in the embers and temperature. As part of this, the CO2in the plants remains bound in the vegetable carbon. Soils treated according to this process store carbon for a long time, emit less climate-altering nitrous oxide and nitrate leaching is reduced. As a result, the material also promises great opportunities for climate and environmental protection; the carbon stores the CO2that is harmful to the climate.”

Similar to with Phosphorus recovery, however, uniform regulations in the Fertiliser Ordinance are still needed in order to give the “good” carbon a decent chance on the market.

The planet is scorching; it’s time for ‘global cooling’.

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