ZeroPoint Biomass Gasification Systems produce biochar as a by-product. Biochar is fixed carbon in the form of highly porous charcoal and is produced through thermo-chemical processes such as biomass gasification. Biochar is composed of carbon that plants extracted from the atmosphere through photosynthesis to form plant matter. When that plant matter is converted into charcoal, the carbon is permanently fixed in the charcoal. Each ton of biochar produced represents approximately 3.5 tons of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere. Biochar has also been shown to increase the fertility of soil resulting in decreased needs for fertilizers and irrigation.
The use of biochar as a soil amendment has important positive implications for agricultural productivity as higher soil carbon contents correlate with increased soil fertility. An enriched dark soil found in the lowland sections of the Amazon Basin has been determined to contain high concentrations of charcoal and greater plant nutrients than the surrounding soils. Because of its porous structure and organic compound filtering characteristics, it is also believed that soil amended with biochar may have the ability to limit the negative impacts of fertilizer and manure runoff on water tables and reduce volumetric requirements for fertilizers (particularly gas or petroleum derived fertilizers).
Biochar can also be used as a filtering media to replace activated charcoal. After use as a filtering media, biochar can be land filled to permanently sequester its carbon. Those not seeking to sequester carbon can utilize biochar as a fuel containing approximately 13,300 Btu/lb.