Biochar is a fine-grained, highly porous charcoal substance that is distinguished from other charcoals in its intended use as a soil amendment. Biochar is charcoal that has been produced under conditions that optimize certain characteristics deemed useful in agriculture, such
as high surface area per unit of volume and low amounts of residual resins. The particular heat treatment of organic biomass used to produce biochar contributes to its large surface area and its characteristic ability to persist in soils with very little biological decay (Lehmann and
Rondon 2006). While raw organic materials supply nutrients to plants and soil microorganisms, biochar serves as a catalyst that enhances plant uptake of nutrients and water. Compared to other soil amendments, the high surface area and porosity of biochar enable it to adsorb or retain nutrients and water and also provide a habitat for beneficial micro-organisms to flourish (Glaser et al. 2002, Lehmann and Rondon 2006, Warnock et al. 2007).
The Basics of Biochar : A Natural Soil Amendment :