The District has sponsored the development of a biochar greenhouse gas (GHG) offset accounting protocol with the support of Prasino Group, International Biochar Initiative, and The Climate Trust. The protocol was formally adopted into the CAPCOA GHG Rx on September 28, 2015. The final protocol (PDF) provides a detailed accounting procedure for quantifying the GHG benefits of biochar. Biochar projects sequester carbon from biomass waste in a highly stable biochar, and produce renewable energy from the energy-rich byproduct syngas. The protocol uses the biochar’s hydrogen to organic carbon content ratio as an indicator of its long-term stability, in conjunction with its applied use as a legitimate soil amendment to agricultural field or road crop operations.

The protocol development process involved a webinar presentation conducted on September 9, 2014. View a copy of the presentation (PDF). The draft protocol (PDF) is also available. Access the CAPCOA Protocol Primer (PDF) on the protocol requirements and review process. We hope to quantify in the future additional GHG benefits that are associated with biochar including fossil fuel based fertilizer displacement, water production and transport, and enhanced plant growth.