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Biochar and Sustainable Agriculture
Biochar is a potentially valuable soil amendment produced from biomass, through pyrolysis. Biochar improves soil aggregation, enhances nutrient- and water-holding capacity, provides habitat for soil organisms, modulates microbial activity and biodiversity, and may stabilize soil organic carbon (SOC). Pyrolysis also yields biofuels in the form of combustible gases or oils. Biochar is thought to mitigate climate change by providing both renewable energy and a soil amendment that may significantly enhance net soil carbon (C) sequestration. However, additional research is needed before biochar applications to fields and grazing lands can be validated as a carbon off set and a potential source of income for farmers and ranchers.