Valorization of agricultural waste streams

Many agricultural activities generate waste streams that have little or no value and are not used to produce food. Examples include the rice husk generated by processing paddy, coffee husks from coffee processing plants, or sugarcane bagasse and leaf residues from sugarcane plantations. These biomass streams can be abundant resources that are currently going to waste. In addition, the accumulation of agricultural waste in big stockpiles can lead to uncontrolled degradation processes emitting significant quantities of CO2 and methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

By turning agricultural waste streams into feedstocks for biochar production, value is created from these waste streams, and greenhouse gas emissions during storage are avoided.

Ideally, the biochar that is produced from these crop residues can be used on the same farms and plantations to improve soil organic carbon content and crop productivity; but they could also be applied to other crops, creating a possible additional revenue stream for farmers.