International Biochar Initiative

International Biochar Initiative logo

The International Biochar Initiative is a non-governmental organization registered in the United States that works internationally to promote a sustainable biochar industry. Biochar is a powerfully simple tool to combat climate change while improving both food and energy security.

What is Biochar? Biochar is charcoal made from biomass. In soil, biochar increases nutrient retention, supports microbial functions and enhances water availability. Biochar is found in soils around the world as a result of both natural vegetation fires and historic soil management practices like those of the indigenous Amazonians who created the black soils known as Terra Preta. Modern biochar production promises additional benefits in the form of increased carbon sequestration and co-production of renewable energy. Energy can be captured in the form of oil and/or gas released by the biochar production process.

The carbon in biochar resists degradation and remains in soils for hundreds to thousands of years. Because this carbon came from biomass that would otherwise have decomposed into greenhouse gasses within a few years, biochar is a carbon sequestration method with many side benefits. Added to soils, compost piles, and other wastes, biochar can also reduce emissions of nitrous oxide and methane, two potent greenhouse gasses.

IBI supports the emerging biochar industry by developing guidelines for biochar for use in soils and guidelines for biochar sustainability. IBI also produces fact sheets, white papers, project profiles and other information on biochar, all of which can be found in the extensive archives on the IBI website.

IBI offers a monthly newsletter to members and subscribers that reports on biochar projects, news, and research results from around the world. With more than 40 regional groups and a growing number of individual, business and organizational members, IBI is constantly expanding its reach. Please join with IBI and help us put the Earth Back in the Black!