What makes biochar so special?
- The long pores provide significant surface area. As a matter of fact, 1 gram of BN biochar has a surface area of about 400m2.
- Biochar has a cation exchange capacity that electrostatically attracts certain types of molecules including Nitrogen and Phosphorus nutrients in the soil, air and/or water. The molecules are lightly bonded to the biochar walls where roots can access them throughout the growing season. The biochar becomes a nutrient-rich, time-release capsule for plants and is a major reason why biochar is so effective enhancing plant growth.
- Biochar has been tested for water sequestration and found to hold 5.6 times its weight in water. And, because the pores are very long compared with their openings, there is very little evaporation (see fig 1). When roots do not consume the sequestered water, it is held for long periods of time.
- To soil microbes, cleaned out biochar pores look like a concrete condominium complex (see fig 2) so they move in to set up family and community. Once embedded, they are protected from precipitation that would otherwise disperse them. With biochar, microbes flourish and help create living soil.