Biochar Market Set to Grow by 13.4% per Year through 2028, Report Says
The biochar market is poised to grow by 13.4% annually between 2022 and 2028, a new report said.
The “Global Biochar Market 2022-2028” report, published by Triton Market Research, was added to the world’s largest market research store, ResearchandMarkets.com, Yahoo Finance reported on August 23.
It anticipates that the global market for biochar should grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13.4% in value and 10.34% per year in volume.
Biochar is a kind of charcoal obtained from decomposing biomass, such as agricultural residue, forestry waste or animal manure. It’s made by heating these organic materials at very high temperatures in the absence of oxygen.
The material has frequently been used in agriculture for its properties, which can improve soil health. For example, it can replenish soil nutrients, boost soil aeration and water-holding capacity, improving crop yields. It can also improve soil carbon sequestration and reduce emissions.
But if biochar has become a bit of a buzzword recently, it’s because of the material’s capacity to store high quantities of carbon, generating carbon credits.
That’s because the end product of the biomass-heating process is a solid, carbon-rich material, meaning that, with some simplification, biochar is a way to turn biomass into a carbon sink.
Biochar tends to be very hard to break down, meaning that when it’s done correctly and incorporated into soils, it can be between 10 and 100 times more stable than the feedstock it’s made from. That means the CO2 it stores won’t degrade as quickly as other organic materials, and biochar can store it for decades or centuries.
According to the report, several factors are driving the growth of biochar, including the availability of cheap feedstock and the emergence of favorable initiatives for the material. One of the main driving forces behind biochar, however, was the need to increase crop yields across developing countries to sustain population growth there and support local economies.
For that reason, the Middle East and Africa were found likely to become the fastest-growing regions in the biochar market. The report also mentioned Turkey as a country where the material was gaining significant traction due to its widespread application.
The report also says that biochar’s ability to store carbon is a key factor supporting its growth because it enables projects to attract critical financing.
It said the biggest challenges for the sector were its relatively high costs, a lack of pilot projects, and the possible contamination of biochar.
Biochar projects tend to be fairly small, but according to experts and industry insiders, the sector as a whole has lots of carbon-sequestration potential, in part because of biochar’s application across several industries, like agriculture, carbon storage, and even construction materials—biochar can also be embedded into cement and asphalt.
On the downside, making biochar requires lots of energy—remember the biomass has to be heated at very high temperatures—meaning it could result in CO2 emissions if the process is carried out using fossil fuels or natural gas.
The report adds to the recent enthusiasm some observers have expressed for biochar.
On August 16, the world’s largest carbon registry, Verra, released a new methodology to allow biochar projects to quantify their climate benefits after it said it received significant pressure from biochar projects.
"I get about two to three emails a day from potential project developers asking when the methodology will be prepared for use," Liz Guinessey, Verra’s manager of food and blue carbon innovations, told S&P Global in June 2022. “We do expect to have a pretty robust pipeline of projects as soon as the methodology is approved.”
Verra’s move essentially added a new type of carbon credit to the registry’s offer and allowed projects to generate and sell carbon credits.
Microsoft, one of the world’s biggest corporate buyers of carbon removals, has also recently expressed interest in buying more biochar credits.
“We’ve started to include more categories of carbon removal [in our portfolio],” Lucas Joppa, the company's chief environmental officer, told the Climeworks Direct Air Capture Summit 2022, held in Zurich, via video call on June 30. “Biochar is one we’ve got an interest in.”
The full report is available for purchase starting from $2,750 for a single-user license from ResearchandMarkets.com. An enterprise license costs $4,000.