The Biochar opportunity

18 May 2023


Special thanks to Nigel Murphy of Earth Systems who last week presented the HydroTerra Webinar and expanded our knowledge in biochar and the huge opportunity that exists in Australia for this product.

So, what is Biochar? Biochar is a carbon-rich charcoal produced from the slow pyrolysis (heating at about 500 degrees Celsius in the absence of oxygen) of biomass, or organic material. There is much interest in biochar and its use to augment soil fertility and sequester carbon, particularly in the agriculture sector.

Some of the key points Nigel made about biochar include:

Biochar and all its uses

  • Large amounts of biomass are being sent to landfills every year in Australia, creating high levels of greenhouse gas emissions. This represents a wasted opportunity when instead of creating significant greenhouse gas emissions, we could instead turn that biomass into a valuable resource to do the opposite – reduce greenhouse gas emissions!
  • While people think adding biochar to improve soil quality is a new strategy, Amazon Basin farming communities have been using the approach for more than 2000 years.
  • For every ton of biochar that is produced and used for agricultural purposes, CO2 emissions into the atmosphere are reduced by up to three tons.
  • The use of Biochar has many upsides: Increases the soil’s retention of water and nutrients, augments the soil’s carbon content, reduces soil emissions of carbon dioxide and methane, and also reduces the water run-off.


Nigel provided a host of biochar success stories from around the world. If you want to listen to the full presentation from Nigel, click the link below to view the webinar. Biochar Webinar

The webinar was one of our most popular, indicating the level of interest in the topic and a healthy appetite among our audience for finding sustainable resources for the future. We hope to see you all at the next one, stay tuned for our next topic and speaker in early June.