Date of this Version
Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2023
This paper serves as a review article and incorporates elements of survey research in order to identify and address factors inhibiting biochar availability from municipal sequestration projects in voluntary carbon marketplaces. In determining which barriers exist, and devising strategies for solving them, this study can help to expand the role of biochar in mitigating emissions contributing to climate change, and encourage project developers to support municipal biochar projects that provide various co-benefits. To do so, this study addresses how the pyrolysis production process might be made more efficient, economically viable, and see improved public image, the various urban sectors to which biochar can be applied and resulting benefits/limitations, and how the emissions trading community can be swayed to favor the product and developer skepticism be mitigated. To answer these questions, this study adhered to a mixed method research design approach, utilizing both meta-narrative systematic literature reviews and a descriptive design questionnaire. In regards to the pyrolysis production process, both slow and solar pyrolysis systems were identified as the strongest candidates for addressing efficiency, economy, and appeal in order to attract project developer support for biochar-based projects. Biochar was found to be applicable in several urban scenarios, including construction, green infrastructure, urban agriculture, urban green spaces/forestry, and in private properties, providing municipalities several enticing options for implementing biochar projects and obtaining project developer backing. To mitigate project developer hesitancy and improve biochar’s position in the emissions trading community, several biochar methodologies were analyzed to determine how they answered key uncertainties related to biochar’s viability as a carbon offset and to lay the foundations for the development of a industry-wide standard biochar methodology.