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THE POTENTIAL OF BIOCHAR TO ENHANCE ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN SWEDEN
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Environmental sustainability in Sweden is challenged by rising greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, input-intensive agriculture and potentially unsustainable removal of organic material from forests and farmland. The Swedish government is working towards sixteen environmental quality objectives in order to overcome these problems, among others. 

The past decade gave rise to an international research community dedicated to investigate the age-old practice of applying charcoal to soil, practiced most notably by ancient civilisations in the Amazon region of South America. The high level of interest and controversy around this subject inspired this investigation of biochar’s potential benefits in Sweden. 

A scientific study was conducted to examine the potential of biochar to enhance environmental sustainability in Sweden. This was largely a desk study, supplemented by expert interviews, GIS map work, an experiment and mathematical analysis. 

It was found that there was insufficient research to date to prove the agronomic benefits of biochar in Sweden. More field studies are required to build up the evidence of its potential. Furthermore, as the rate of mineralization of the carbon content is dependent on numerous factors, including the composition of the soil to which the biochar is applied, it is difficult to conclusively define biochar’s carbon storage potential. 

This study adds to the existing body of knowledge on the subject by integrating the conclusions from a variety of studies and expert opinions, as well as by providing maps indicating land areas in Sweden that would be likely to benefit from biochar application. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012.
Keyword [en]
Sustainable development, biochar, bioenergy, environmental sustainability, climate compensation, soil organic matter content, agricultural productivity
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-167675OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-167675DiVA: diva2:487532
Educational program
Master Programme in Sustainable Development
Uppsok
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2012-03-22 Created: 2012-01-31 Last updated: 2012-10-09Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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