Project news The added value of biochar application for sustainable land use

18/06/2019
brown and green arrows circling a tree and landscape
Biochar has a lot of potential as an alternative, sustainable valorization option for existing residual biomass

Biochar from residual biomass is an economically valuable and sustainable end product: that is the starting point of the BASTA project. Within the project, various types of biochar are selected for further upscaling and application in manure and biomass processing, and substrate cultivation. The aim is to reduce 25% greenhouse gas & ammonia emissions, 10% higher process efficiency, 10% less use of chemical crop protection agents, 30% less nutrient losses, 10% more water holding capacity and 20-40% peat replacement.

Biochar een kwaliteitsvolle bodemverbeteraar

Biochar, a soil improver that results from thermal decomposition of biomass under limited supply or absence of oxygen, has a lot of potential as an alternative, sustainable valorization option for existing residual biomass. Within the BASTA project, this product is applied in manure and biomass processing, substrate crops and open field. Chemical, biological, economic, and legal data are brought together in a decision support tool for policy makers and companies. This enables intelligent combinations between starting materials, production parameters, and biochart applications. Biochar types are selected for further scale-up and application for (a) manure and biomass processing with the goal of 25% less greenhouse gas & ammonia emissions, and 10% higher process efficiency, and (b) substrate cultivation based on a biochar-based alternative to peat, leading to 10% less use of chemical crop protection agents, 30% less nutrient losses, 10% more water holding capacity, and 20-40% peat replacement. The role of biochar for sustainable, climate-resilient (re)use of marginal soils (e.g., moderately metal-contaminated and drought-prone soils) is also being explored.

Onderzoek en ontwikkeling

The knowledge gained during BASTA should make it possible to valorize biochar from specific starting materials or targeted applications at individual companies through short R&D tracks. Successful experiments at lab scale at UHasselt and ILVO will allow companies to take steps for further valorization, and to develop business models.

Project: BASTA – Biochars toegevoegde waarde in duurzaam landgebruik met gerichte toepassingen in processen, substraat- & (toekomstbestendige) openveld-teelt.
Term:
2019-2022
Partners:
Hasselt University, OWS and pcfruit
Funding: Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek

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Bart Vandecasteele

Expert in sustainable growing media

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