Forest Fires May Be Controlled with Biochar, New Research Finds

Uncategorized By Apr 05, 2023

Biochar, a type of charcoal made from organic waste, could help control forest fires, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. Researchers found that the substance reduced the intensity of forest fires by inhibiting the combustion process. Biochar absorbs moisture from soil, reduces flammability, and its high carbon content allows it to absorb heat, limiting soil degradation and erosion during fires. It can also slow the spread of wildfires, giving firefighters more time to contain blazes. Biochar, which has been shown to boost crop yields and soil fertility, can be made from agriculture and forestry residues, municipal solid waste and other biomass.

Forest fires are a serious concern for many parts of the world. They can be devastating, causing destruction of property and loss of life. Researchers have been working on mitigating the impact of forest fires and have come up with a new solution: biochar.

What is biochar?

Biochar is a type of charcoal that is made from organic waste, such as agriculture and forestry residues, municipal solid waste, and other biomass. The waste is heated up in a controlled environment with little to no oxygen, producing a substance that is high in carbon and beneficial for the soil.

The use of biochar in agriculture has been known to improve crop yields, soil fertility, and carbon sequestration. However, this new study suggests that biochar may also be used to control forest fires.

How does biochar help control forest fires?

According to the study published in the journal Scientific Reports, biochar can help reduce the intensity of forest fires by inhibiting the combustion process. Researchers found that when biochar was spread on the forest floor before a fire, it acted as a barrier and slowed down the wildfire, giving firefighters extra time to control it.

Biochar was also found to absorb moisture from the soil, reducing its flammability. Lastly, the high carbon content of biochar allows it to absorb heat, which helps to prevent soil degradation and erosion caused by high temperatures during a fire.


Q. Is biochar expensive?
A. The cost of biochar varies depending on the source of the waste used to make it, as well as the production process. However, as biochar becomes more widely used, costs are likely to come down.

Q. Can biochar be harmful to the environment?
A. Biochar is a sustainable way of utilizing organic waste that would otherwise have gone to landfill. However, as with any new technology, it is important to monitor its impact on the environment over time.

Q. How much biochar is needed to control a forest fire?
A. The amount of biochar needed will depend on the size and intensity of the fire, as well as the type of forest floor that it is being applied to. However, the study found that even small amounts of biochar could help to control the spread of a fire.

Q. Can biochar be used in all forest ecosystems?
A. While biochar has been shown to be effective in reducing the intensity of forest fires, further research is needed to determine its effectiveness in different forest ecosystems.

In conclusion, biochar is a promising solution to the problem of forest fires. It is an affordable, sustainable way of utilizing waste while also helping to control fires. As more research is conducted, we hope to see biochar become a common tool in the fight against forest fires.