Monthly Archives: October 2013

Biochar in New Zealand

Associate Professor Marta Camps, Massey University

RSNZ Manawatu Branch October 2014 meeting

7.30 pm Tuesday, 15 October 2013, Te Manawa – Art Gallery, 326 Main Street, Palmerston North

Plants store carbon temporarily while they are alive, but release it back to the atmosphere as CO2 when they die and decay. If instead plants are carbonised to charcoal, almost half of the carbon in the plant matter is converted to a stable form that can last in the environment for centuries. This long-term storage is called sequestration. To be called biochar, the charcoal must be put into soils with the intention to also benefit soil fertility. This practice has occurred in many pre-modern societies, including New Zealand Māori, and, particularly in poor soils, has been shown to improve fertility. This lecture outlines the opportunities and challenges for biochar in New Zealand.

Marta Camps is a soil scientist with a main interest in soil chemistry and carbon sequestration. She researches and teaches in the Institute of Agriculture and Environment at Massey University.

All warmly welcome