UN Climate Change Conference: Biochar present at the Bali Conference
Christoph Steiner, to Terra Preta Discussion List, November

I was hoping that biochar finds a hearing at the UN climate change conference in Bali. I am very glad that biochar got two hours in Bali:
December 13, 13:00-15:00, Bali International Convention Center
biochar.org Events

Theme UNCCD: Sustainable Land Management for Adaptation to Climate Change

Welcome Statement: Executive secretary of the UNCCD

Keynote Statement: President of the UNCCD COP


* Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Zech; University of Bayreuth

An overview of naturally occurring soil carbon, its depletion and how to redress this trend. The origin of Terra Preta soils and how their replication could have the most significant impact on the achievement of the targets of the World Food Summit.

Charcoal as Soil Conditioner: Studies in the humid Tropics
Christoph Steiner1, W. G. Teixeira2, J. Lehmann3and W. Zech1, U Georgia TP 2004


Potential of Pyrolyzed Organic Matter in Soil Amelioration
Bruno Glaser, Johannes Lehmann, Christoph Steiner, Thomas Nehls,
Muhammad Yousaf and Wolfgang Zech, 12th ISCO Conference Beijing 2002


Charcoal as Soil Conditioner Studies in the humid Tropics
Christoph Steiner1, W. G. Teixeira2, J. Lehmann3and W. Zech1

1Institute of Soil Science, University of Bayreuth, Germany
2EmbrapaAmazoniaOcidental, Manaus, Brazil
3 Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Cornell University, USA


Poster: Slash and Char - Soil charcoal amendments maintain soil fertility and create a carbon sink
Christoph Steiner*1, 2, Wenceslau Teixeira2, Thomas Nehls1, Johannes Lehmann3, and Wolfgang Zech1.
1 2 3 Institute of Soil Science, University of Bayreuth, 95440 Bayreuth, Germany; Embrapa Amazonia Ocidental, 69011-970 Manaus, Brazil; Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
* corresponding author: Christop@cpaa.embrapa.br, Christoph.Steiner@uni-bayreuth.de

Black carbon in a temperate mixed-grass savanna
X. Daia, T.W. Boutton a,*, B. Glaser b, R.J. Ansley c, W. Zech b
Soil Biology & Biochemistry 37 (2005) 1879

Tracing black carbon in soil using SEM/EDX, biomarker analyses, and compound-specific radiocarbon analyses
S. Brodowski (1), P. M. Grootes (2), W. Zech (3), W. Amelung (1)

Mollisols are known to contain stable, black humus components which originate from
charred or coal-derived particles. As such black carbon (BC) significantly affects soil
fertility and interferes with models on soil organic matter dynamics, an accurate prediction of BC input into soils and an elucidation of the mechanisms of BC turnover
is essential. The main aims of this study were (i) to identify the sources of BC in the


Black carbon in soils: The use of benzene polycarboxylic acids as specific indicators

Bruno Glaser, Ludwig Haumaier, Georg Guggenberger and Wolfgang Zech

Institute of Soil Science, University of Bayreuth, 95440 Germany. Fax: ++49-921-552246. Email: bruno.glaser@uni-bayreuth.de

Mitteilungen der Deutschen Bodenkundlichen Gesellschaft (1997) 85: 237 - 240

1. Introduction

Black carbon (BC) is formed during incomplete combustion of biomass. Being highly resistant to microbial and chemical oxidation, it is considered to be a significant sink in the global carbon cycle. Most likely, it is also a source of stable aromatic carbon in soils.

The 'Terra Preta' phenomenon: a model for sustainable agriculture in the humid tropics
Bruno Glaser, Ludwig Haumaier, Georg Guggenberger, Wolfgang Zech
Journal Naturwissenschaften,Springer Berlin/Heidelberg
Issue Volume 88, Number 1 / February, 2001


Many soils of the lowland humid tropics are thought to be too infertile to support sustainable agriculture. However, there is strong evidence that permanent or semi-permanent agriculture can itself create sustainably fertile soils known as 'Terra Preta' soils. These soils not only contain higher concentrations of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and calcium, but also greater amounts of stable soil organic matter. Frequent findings of charcoal and highly aromatic humic substances suggest that residues of incomplete combustion of organic material (black carbon) are a key factor in the persistence of soil organic matter in these soils. Our investigations showed that 'Terra Preta' soils contained up to 70 times more black carbon than the surrounding soils. Due to its polycyclic aromatic structure, black carbon is chemically and microbially stable and persists in the environment over centuries. Oxidation during this time produces carboxylic groups on the edges of the aromatic backbone, which increases its nutrient-holding capacity. We conclude that black carbon can act as a significant carbon sink and is a key factor for sustainable and fertile soils, especially in the humid tropics.

Subscribe to Zech