Climate change in the North Sea Region is predicted to have a pronounced effect on annual rainfall patterns. Prolonged periods of severe droughts or heavy rains will impact the sustainability of farming and will also have significant effects on the fertility of soils.
In general, traditional agricultural soil application of crop residues is rapidly degraded by soil micro-organisms and released as CO2. Thermal conversion of the same residues through pyrolysis rapidly transforms it into a more non-degradable sometimes almost inert biomass – named biochar. Thus, application of biochar into soils is also a Carbon Capture and Soil Storage (CCSS) strategy. When biochar remains stable in soils it makes soils more resilient to the effects of climate change, especially the effects of weather extremes.
The project Biochar: climate saving soils has three clear targets:
Establish a transnational biochar knowledge dissemination strategy for authorities, producers and end-users of biochar and public opinion for raising awareness and building confidence in biochar applications,
Align and share knowledge and methodological standards on biochar feedstocks, logistics, production, biochar characterisation and environmental impact assessment, and
Align and share knowledge and methodological standards on biochar applications for soil quality and fertility improvement, for soil remediation and stabilisation and for carbon capture and storage.
Thirteen partners from seven different countries around the North Sea are working together within this project. The partners are: Netherlands: Province Groningen (lead partner); Netherlands: Productschap Akkerbouw/Kiemkracht; Netherlands: Nutrient management Institute; Netherlands: Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR)-Alterra; Belgium: Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO); Belgium: University Gent; Germany: HAWK-Applied Univerisity, Gottingen; Germany: 3N-Klima Center Werlte, Niedersachen; Denmark: Risø DTU National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Technical University of Denmark; Sweden: Uppsala University; Norway: Norwegian Institute for Agricultural Environmen