Posted by: energyblogwalter | August 15, 2006

Terra Preta: Black is the New Green


Eprida research photo:

eprida soil test

This is now turning into a commercial enterprise using coal with the benefits of sequestering all our harmful CO2. Very cool process also outlined at the website here

Turns out the sequestering of CO2 and the making of chemically fertile soil are one and the same. Could this not turn out to be a great thing? Yes, the ancient Amazonians had cultivated the soil of South America into “Terra preta do indio” or Amazonian Dark Earth that holds 2.5 times the carbon of regular soil along with other nutrients. It may hold even more, scientists aren’t sure.

“””The difference between terra preta and ordinary soils is immense. A hectare of meter-deep terra preta can contain 250 tonnes of carbon, as opposed to 100 tonnes in unimproved soils from similar parent material, according to Bruno Glaser, of the University of Bayreuth, Germany. To understand what this means, the difference in the carbon between these soils matches all of the vegetation on top of them. Furthermore, there is no clear limit to just how much biochar can be added to the soil.””” That sounds quite promising.

Shouldn’t this be on the evening news every day? Call the newspapers! Put it on TV! What, not there? It’s in Nature magazine and that’s about it. Major Solution without a strong enough voice. I wonder if the Ontario/Alberta/Saskachewan farming lobby has a subscription? Probably not. Too bad.

In spite of our shorter growing season and with soil depleation continuing, solutions like these exist to thwart our best efforts for apocalyptic scenarios. This is an answer and a direction for a lot of research.

Ironically Alberta would benefit the most from this process as the waste from oilsands production could be used to make Terra Preta, or looks to hold that potential. How about we give it a try? The end result could be tarsands oil within the Kyoto Protocol and not a government stuck supporting the largest single polluter in Canada. And oh yeah, amazing soil for our farmers. It’s a win-win-win-win situation if you can believe it.

Let’s not ignore it


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