Our clean energy show & tell
Help the planet Enter the competition! Teachers, find out what you can do with your students!

Biochar breaks the carbon cycle


Anybody can make charcoal. You just need to burn some wood.

We use charcoal in BBQs all over the world. We also burn wood, garden and animal waste just to get rid of it. However, burning trees and agricultural waste contributes a large amount of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

Bio char is a clever way of burning the same products without releasing carbon.  It is a stable product, which is used to lock carbon into the soil.

Once dug in to the soil, Bio char has been shown to bring about many beneficial and long-term positive effects on soil, such as:

  • increase the water holding capacity of the soil
  • increase crop production
  • increase soil carbon levels
  • increase soil pH
  • decrease Aluminium toxicity
  • positively change the microbiology of the soil
  • decrease soil emissions of greenhouse gases
  • improve soil conditions for earthworl populations
  • improve fertiliser use efficiency

No wonder Professor Tim Flannery, 2007 Australian of the Year, said bio char is "the single most important initiative for humanity's environmental future"!

Check out Biocharproject.org and listen to an interview with Dr Paul Taylor, author of The Biochar Revolution here.

The Competition
The competition

We asked Australian students to make a video or convince us in writing about their BIG ideas for a sustainable energy future.

Check out the fantastic videos we received, all about sustainable energy solutions!

For teachers

Explore the fascinating science edging us closer to low carbon living. This fun, flexible project includes easy-to-use ICT, oodles of resources and FREE lesson plans from CSIRO Education.

Links to Australian curriculum, plus NAPLAN rehearsal.

Find out more
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