Biochar Paper – elevating biochar from novelty to ubiquity

by Kathleen Draper and Hans-Peter Schmidt

Pack your fruits and vegetables in a biochar box, double their shelf life then compost the boxes with the leftovers and make Terra Preta in your backyard. Biochar paper and cardboard might become the most influential invention to mitigate climate change while reducing organic residues sent to landfills.

Biochar has a wide variety of beneficial properties that can displace synthetic and expensive biodegradable products currently used today. An increasing number of biochar based products were recently designed to be eventually applied to soil, but which will enjoy a useful life above the soil first. Two of the qualities that set biochar apart from many other materials are its versatility and its numerous cascading benefits. When products made with biochar end up in the soil, whether in a garden or a landfill, they can provide long term benefits to soil quality and fertility. Non-soil uses of biochar will also provide several climate friendly solutions and have the advantage of continuing to sequester carbon when cast off to the soil after use.

Our most recent project could potentially transform biochar from being a novelty material to one that is ubiquitous in the consumer environment, preventing massive amounts of carbon from returning to the atmosphere. Allow us to introduce you to chardboard, a blend of biochar and paper pulp created with the assistance of a paper designer from the Genesee Center for the Arts based in Rochester, NY.

Paper and packaging materials generally contain a mix of fiber and filler material. Fibrous material acts as the binding agent while fillers have traditionally been added to lower production costs. Certain fillers can also help maximize bulk, printability, stability, drying rates and various other qualities. The end use for the paper product determines which filler properties are most important, but characteristics such as particle size and shape, surface area and color are important considerations. We investigated the possibility of using biochar as a filler to create a sustainable packaging material that could be made into a wide variety of products.

Please read the complete article in the Biochar Journal.

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4 Responses to “Biochar Paper – elevating biochar from novelty to ubiquity””

  1. Doris Bierbass
    Title: Dipl.Oecotrophologin

    Guten Tag. Ein interessanter Artikel. Gibt es einen Herstellernachweis oder eine Bezugsquelle für diese Papiere? Ich freue mich auf Ihre entsprechende Nachricht. MfG Doris Bierbass

  2. hps

    Unter folgenden Links finden Sie das japanische Umezumi Pflanzenkohle Papier:

  3. Yannik Keller
    Title: Holz gespart?

    Das Papier scheint eine gute Sache und die reinigende Eigenschaft der Kohle nützlich in verschiedenen Bereichen.

    Aber wird dabei tatsächlich Holz gespart? Kohle wird schliesslich aus Holz hergestellt. Schlussendlich ist dabei sogar mehr Holz verrbraucht, nähmlich der Teil der beim Brand wegschrumpft.

  4. hps

    … wenn die Pflanzenkohle aus Stammholz hergestellt würde, würde es den Gesamtholzbedarf tatsächlich erhöhen, da die Pflanzenkohle als Zuschlag für Papier und Kartonagen aber aus sonstigen Biomassen wie Borke, Erntereste oder Trester hergestellt werden sollte, würde es den Holzbedarf eben doch senken. Allerdings ersetzt die Kohle weniger den Zellstoff, sondern vor allem die sonstigen Füllstoffe wie z.B. Gesteinsmehle. Vielen Dank für den Kommentar, Hans-Peter Schmidt

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