Long-Term Carbon Sequestration Using Charcoal

Tom Miles

Long-Term Carbon Sequestration Using Charcoal
Amrith S. Gunasekara, Victor P. Claassen, Thomas Young, and Ronald Tjeerdema, University of California at Davis, 2005

Long term carbon sequestration is highly dependent on the recalcitrance of organic matter in soils. If the carbon to be sequestered is not recalcitrant in the soil, microbial decomposition of the organic matter will reintroduce the carbon into the
atmosphere as carbon dioxide.

Thus, a molecular level examination of the contribution of newly formed organic carbon into soils, in terms of recalcitrance, and the mechanism and potential for their sequestration is required.

We examined the potential for charcoal, a very recalcitrant substance in soils, to
complex with newly formed organic substances, like compost, and sequester a fraction
of non-recalcitrant materials on a long term basis and produce a new recalcitrant substance suitable for carbon sequestration.