An international team of researchers has examined the underlying mechanisms of how biochar (pyrolized biomass) becomes a potent fertilizer. Because: Biochar is not equal to biochar. The carbonates promote plant growth and stimulate soil fertility only when combined with nutrient-rich organic matter, e.g., co-composted biochar. The scientists therefore tested biochar before and after composting with manure.
Their results: The researchers identify a complex, nutrient-rich organic coating on co-composted biochar that covers the outer and inner (pore) surfaces of biochar particles. This implies that the functioning of biochar in soil is determined by the formation of an organic coating.