Biochar: Distinctions

Black Owl Biochar - In Good HandsWhen first introduced to biochar, some people mistake it for fireplace ash, charcoal briquettes, activated mined carbon, or even coal. Each of the above have:a lack of surface area,a lack of activity, little or no organic carbonand little or no benifit to the soil ecosytemor plant growth
  • little or no benefit to the soil ecosystem or plant growth
  • toxins and pollutants associated with them
The very broad definition of biochar is: a carbon-rich product obtained when organic biomass, (such as manure, leaves, grasses, or in our Biochar Supreme’s Black Owl Biochar products, untreated forest debris—wood), heated to the point of thermal decomposition under a limited or zero supply of oxygen and having utility in agriculture/horticulture. In physical terms, biochar is simply the charred. When a watse product is thermally processed is called pyrolysis. 
Unlike charcoal, biochar is created specifically to improve soil structure and enhance crop productivity. The total amount of energy yielded from the process, is positive, meaning it generates more energy that consumes in the combustion process and if it utilized for heat or power it is green energy. The biochar can be returned to soils and  therefore the process is considered to be “carbon negative”. Biochar is a dynamic strategy that  could help solve many of the world’s most pressing problems. The process of creating biochar could sequester somewhere on the order of 5-30% of global emission while simultaneously producing clean renewable energy to replace fossil fuels.The list of benefits of utilizing biochar continue to grow as worldwide research and trials demonstrate new properties and solutions in agriculture.
The many geo-physical-chemical-electrical characteristics of properly made biochars differ depending primarily on feedstock, temperature and other processing techniques. For several years it
It has generally been accepted that biochar can: 
(1) Increase the tilth of soils by creating greater aeration in heavier soils and complexing 
sandier soils to better retain nutrients and water and keep them from leaching
(2) Increase the cation exchange functions in the soil, which in turn, improves nutrient 
(3) Host microbes and fungi, increasing their colonization in the root zone, and improve the soil 
(4) Act as a catalyst for resleasing sorbed water and nutrients as conditions dictate
(5) Reduce off-gassing of methane, and nitrous-oxide, greenhouses, mitigating the escape into 
(6) Increase the pH, and replace some of the liming requirement of acid soils
(7) Retain nutrients and reduce the nutrient additions necessitated
(8) Reduce the need for irrigation or watering, as well-made biochar has a great water holding 
(9) Accelerate the composting process, improves the compost, help aeration of the compost 
pile, and reduce or eliminates odors
Even the best of pure biochars do not replace nutrients required by plants, but they do help with 
making them increasingly bioavailable. Knowing the nutrient requirements of plants or crops is 
essential as knowing the soil profile. It is essential to understand that just because a biochar is 
premixed with a compost, doesn’t necessarily make it better to purchase. 
Composts need to be quality composts, without residual chemicals, plastic, odor, and not be overly wet. A biochar and 
a compost make a good combination, but you need both products to be free of problems and 
have live aerobic biology, that often doesn’t survive in a bagged product.
Not all Biochars intended for use in growing are created equally. At the risk of immodesty, our 
Black Owl Biochars have been deemed “exceptional” and have recognition for their quality. Our
Biochars our OMRI certified, which means, they have been tested for heavy metals, that 
contaminate other biochars, composts, and soils. We have also had our product tested for !
seed germination enhancement, and have had results of increase of 144% verified by 
independent laboratory trials. Our products have been further tested for the presence or
absence of PAH’s and PCB’s unfortunately common. Our products have no detectable PAH’s, 
or PCB’s. If you want to know why to choose “Black Owl Biochar” products, check first for 
OMRI certification, second ask for the percentage of Organic Carbon, third, ask for test results 
of PAH, PCB’s and finally learn the weight of the product.
The quality of Biochar is inversely related to it’s weight a good biochar particle is extremely light, 
full of porosity and has great surface area. If you are looking at a biochar with weight beyond 
the teens per cubic foot, you are looking at a heavy biochar and that indicates either it has very 
high ash content, or a lot of water. The International Biochar Initiative classifies biochars 
according to their Organic Carbon Content, as Class I>60%, Class II>30%, Class III > 10%.!
Well, we have no “Biochars with less than 70%” and Ultra line is 80+%, all our first class. We 
have worked on the process to achieve this high standard at scale for 3 years. We have state 
of the art products to offer you. For application suggestions click here.
Scroll to top