What is Biochar? What are the benefits?

At DYCLE, we are often asked what biochar is and why it is such an essential material in our Diaper Cycle. Here’s why we love it!

What is Biochar?
Biochar defined simply is fine-grained charcoal high in organic carbon properties.
It is used as a soil enhancer and amendment to improve soil health.

Why biochar is good for our soil
Here’s what our partner scientists say:

• Biochar increases plant growth and yields
• Biochar increases water retention in soil
• Biochar improves the structure and quality of our soil
• Biochar reduces toxic elements in soil (except uranium and heavy metals)
• Biochar reduces climate-damaging methane and nitrous oxide emissions

Why does DYCLE use biochar?
One of the key elements of our Diaper Cycle is the production of terra preta substrate. Terra preta is human-made, fertile soil and simply translated means black soil.

Biochar is fundamental to the creation of terra preta substrate and is used in the first step of the terra preta production method we use, as summarized below:

• Diaper inlays + biochar
• Anaerobic lactic-acid fermentation
• Vermicomposting, process of composting using worms

Using the terra preta production method, we are able to transform our diaper inlays into this super fertile soil to support the growth of our future fruit tree generations.

Producing Terra Preta from kitchen waste - download: Instructions for Terra Preta (Languages: DE / EN / ES / CN / JP). Illustration by Ayumi Matsuzaka

On the pictures below you can see how we could cook soup and at the same time produce biochar. Another method using the Kon-Tiki-Kiln we showed at our last workshop: Essen kochen und Pflanzenkohle herstellen

Mikrovergaser starten

Kochen auf dem Mikrovergaser


Leckere Suppe

Fertige Pflanzenkohle