What Ways Can Carbon Sequestration Aid in Soil Health?

Over ninety percent of the food that is grown for human use comes from the soil. Soil is the best carbon sink on Earth because not only does it absorb carbon, but it also stores it. Without soil, our way of life would be entirely different. However, worldwide soil is experiencing several threats, including deterioration and climate changes, which may have negative effects on food security. Therefore, it is important to do your research when it comes to taking care of your soil and how you should maintain it. One way of improving soil health is through carbon sequestration.

Carbon Sequestration Aid in Soil Health

How Can It Benefit the Soil?

In the same way that Amazonian natives made high-carbon terra preta from locally available materials, so does today’s synthesis of biochar from waste biomass avert carbon from being converted into greenhouse gasses. That process can be beneficial to soil health. However, not all biochar is the same. A biomass’s effectiveness is largely dependent on the type and the heating conditions under which it’s made. But overall, improving soil health by adding biochar is a good idea. The addition of 5 percent to 10 percent (by volume) of biochar to soil is analogous to the role that coral reefs play in oceans. It will offer a structure, a habitat for beneficial bacteria, as well as sinks for water and nutrients. Biochar produced by burning wood scraps is carbon-rich and highly porous. It makes sense to describe it as a low-grade activated carbon. Although the surface areas can differ, they’re seen at about 350 m2/g on average.

Biochar’s Soil Sequestration Techniques

Since biochar has such a large surface area, it can store nutrients and hold water. Fertilizer usage is more beneficial in biochar-treated soils since the biochar retains a greater percentage of fertilizer in the soil. That helps in preventing the fertilizer from running off the farm and into surrounding waterways. The biochar-treated soil becomes a favorite ground for the beneficial mycorrhizal fungi, bacteria, and plant roots, improving its health. They promote the soil’s nutrient cycling, aeration, and water retention.

Plants growing in healthy soil tend to have low-stress levels and a better nutrient intake. It becomes possible to achieve the production of healthier plants through nutrient addition to the soil. That translates to higher profits for farmers. Additionally, since the soil’s cation exchange capacity increases, it helps to bind toxic compounds, preventing them from entering the food chain.

The Benefits of Biochar

Soil biochar’s positive effects are still being researched, but there’s an increasing collection of studies showing biochar can boost soil quality. Boosting the quality of our soils will in turn increase our ability to produce enough food to meet the huge demand. Increases in crop production while decreasing emissions of greenhouse gasses and leaching of fertilizers into groundwater are of paramount importance for today’s farmers considering the world’s expanding population. Furthermore, the creation of biochar from discarded biomass will reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses.


Soil health is of utmost importance for various reasons including agricultural production and combating climate change. Biochar, when made properly, has many purposes beyond absorbing and storing carbon. This is great for those on their plant journey who want to continue to do so in a positive way. It’s possible to use it in improving soil health, bettering the world for future generations. It’s worth exploring as a potential solution for promoting sustainability.

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