Biochar Policy Project

The National Center for Appropriate Technology’s Biochar Policy Project was created in 2019 to support development of a carbon-negative biochar and biofuel industry that creates good jobs and opportunity in rural America, while sequestering carbon and building soil health and productivity.   

The project works with farm groups, conservation organizations, soil scientists, farmers, ranchers and foresters that think an important solution can be found in a porous black shred of carbon called biochar.

The project is addressing three critical barriers:  

  • Critical knowledge gaps on biochar must be filled. 
  • Barriers to private investment in launching the industry must be lowered. 
  • A reliable supply chain of sustainable biomass feedstock must be developed. 

The project is led by Chuck Hassebrook, who previously served 36 years with the Center for Rural Affairs, including 17 years as its executive director. It is represented in Washington by Bev Paul of Davenport Policy and Ferd Hoefner of Farm, Food, Environment Policy Consulting.  Each brings decades of experience, Bev with Gordley Associates and Ferd as policy director and lead Washington representative of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. 

Biochar in Action

Biochar Is Key to Cascading Benefits in Innovative Carbon Chicken Project

Fifth-generation Arkansas farmer Jody Hardin was introduced to a potentially game-changing soil additive through a USDA Conservation Innovation Grant in 2011. That’s when Hardin began studying biochar—a charcoal-like material that can be…
Students participating in the New Earth Project biochar effort in New Mexico.Courtesy Carol Ann Fugali

Sustainability Project Transforms Cafeteria Waste into Usable Compost

Remember scraping off your tray in the lunchroom as a kid? Did you ever think about where that waste was going or if it could be more than just garbage? One nonprofit in Silver City, New Mexico is getting its hands dirty and helping kids and…
Trollworks biochar equipment

The ‘Black Gold’ that Can Save Soils, Fight Forest Fires, and Power the Planet

If you have ever stared into the coals of a fire pit, you have witnessed the powerful chemical reaction between heat and organic matter. But what if the blackened remains of a bonfire could be used to grow better food, prevent catastrophic wildfires,…