Chapter 8: Agricultural Use

Kristen Trippe, Georgine Yorgey, David Laird, Brennan Pecha, David Drinkard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Biochar has potential to reduce the environmental footprint in nearly every aspect of agricultural production. The use of biochar has been proposed to manage agricultural biomass (reference), to process animal manure and poultry litter (reference), to improve the nutritive value of feed (reference), and to mitigate the offsite movement of pesticides (reference) and soil nutrients (reference). The coproducts of biochar production hold similar potential. For example, on farm production of biochar can provide bioenergy to heat greenhouses and barns and to power farm equipment (reference). Pyroligneous acid, a coproduct of pyrolysis, has the ability to control fungal pathogens and deter pathogenic insects (reference). Although these environmental benefits are potentially substantial, their on-farm use has not been widely studied. Furthermore, the on-farm installation of biochar production facilities presents challenges that reduce the feasibility of co-production scenarios (Phillips 2018). As such, this section primarily addresses the application of biochar to agricultural soils.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationBiomass to Biochar: Maximizing the Carbon Value
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CH-2800-78898


  • agriculture
  • biochar
  • carbon sequestration
  • life cycle


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