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The Scale of the Net Zero Challenge

The price of meeting net zero is estimated to be between $100-150 trillion over the next 30 years. Regardless of this cost, we need to reach net zero before climate change does irreversible damage to the environment and the economy.

ESG, Sustainability and Impact Jargon Buster

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The Science of Climate Change

Climate change is no longer a distant threat or just a possibility, it is now a reality for all of us. In this pathway, Kevin Trenberth, a renowned climatologist, delves into the science behind climate change. He first introduces the climate system, its main components and forces.

Tackling the Plastic Crisis

Plastic pollution is by far the biggest threat to our oceans and this remains an incredibly tough problem to solve. Plastic credits could potentially serve as one of the much needed solutions for this crisis.

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+1,000 expert presented, on-demand video modules

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The Scale of the Net Zero Challenge

The price of meeting net zero is estimated to be between $100-150 trillion over the next 30 years. Regardless of this cost, we need to reach net zero before climate change does irreversible damage to the environment and the economy.

ESG, Sustainability and Impact Jargon Buster

ESG, sustainability, impact… they all just mean green, right? Not quite. Despite being used often interchangeably, there are distinct differences between these terms.

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Practical Benefits of Biochar

Practical Benefits of Biochar

Siddharth Kaul

9 years: Renewable & Low Carbon Fuels

You've likely never heard of biochar, despite it being an ancient practice. Join Siddharth Kaul as he explores the practical benefits of biochar.

You've likely never heard of biochar, despite it being an ancient practice. Join Siddharth Kaul as he explores the practical benefits of biochar.

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Practical Benefits of Biochar

5 mins 53 secs

Overview

Many rice mills sell their rice husk to power plants to incinerate for power and heat. This is economically efficient but bad for the environment, as it releases carbon into the atmosphere and creates a hazardous environment for soils. Biochar provides long-term carbon storage, increases agricultural yields, enhances soils and increases water retention.

Key learning objectives:

  • Identify the disadvantages of incinerating rice husks

  • Outline the benefits of biochar

  • Understand how biochar can create a circular economy

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Summary
What are the disadvantages of incinerating rice husks?

In the Philippines, most smaller rice mills sell their rice husk to power plants, which incinerate the rice husk to generate power or heat. This is economically efficient but has two major disadvantages. 

1. Fully burning the rice husk releases all of the carbon back into the atmosphere 
2. Generation and disposal of rice ash damages the soil and is a hazardous waste

What are the benefits of biochar? 

1. Increased agricultural yields. Alcom farm trials have shown that after one application of biochar there was a 15-20% increase in paddy and onion yields, relative to the control plot of land. 

2. Soil Enhancement. Biochar improves nutrient and water retention, promotes microbial development and increases the pH of acidic soils. It is especially valuable in degraded agricultural soils.

3. Water Retention. Biochar intercepts nutrients, thereby reducing nutrient leaching into water bodies. It reduces the amount of freshwater required to irrigate crops, indirectly making the soil more drought resilient.  

How can biochar create a circular economy? 
Alcom provides rice mills with electricity and is also marketing the biochar to rice farmers. The rice husk is pyrolyzed into biochar, which is sold to local farmers. The biochar increases agricultural yields, which generates more rice and rice husk, creating a small circular economy.

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Siddharth Kaul

Siddharth Kaul

Siddharth Kaul is the lead carbon project developer for Alcom Carbon Markets, a renewable energy and sustainability company. With two years of experience, Siddharth focuses on life-cycle assessment calculations for biochar, carbon accounting, methodological developments, and general project management. He holds a bachelor's in business and economics from Singapore and an MSc in economics from LSE in London. He previously worked for an oil and gas consultancy, focusing on LNG demand and supply dynamics in Asia.

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