From: Rice University
Published July 27, 2017 11:09 AM

Biochar could clear the air in more ways than one

Biochar from recycled waste may both enhance crop growth and save health costs by helping clear the air of pollutants, according to Rice University researchers.

Rice researchers in Earth science, economics and environmental engineering have determined that widespread use of biochar in agriculture could reduce health care costs, especially for those who live in urban areas close to farmland.

Biochar is ground charcoal produced from waste wood, manure or leaves. Added to soil, the porous carbon has been shown to boost crop yields, lessen the need for fertilizer and reduce pollutants by storing nitrogen that would otherwise be released to the atmosphere.

The study led by Ghasideh Pourhashem, a postdoctoral fellow at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, appears in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science and Technology.

Read more at Rice University

Image: Biochar could reduce local air pollution from agriculture by reducing emissions of nitric oxide from soil, according to Rice University researchers. (Credit: Ghasideh Pourhashem/Rice University)

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