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Maldives to pilot biochar technology

Islands threatened by rising sea levels to trial controversial technology that some scientists believe could help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere

Source:  Copyright 2009, Business Green
Date:  September 4, 2009
Byline:  Tom Young
Original URL: Status ONLINE


The Republic of the Maldives has announced it is to undertake a series of biochar projects on three of the islands that make up the Indian Ocean archipelago.

The technology works by heating wood and crop waste using a process known as pyrolysis to create a carbon-rich substance called biochar that can be mixed with soil and buried underground. Advocates of the approach, including controversial British scientist James Lovelock, argue that it provides an effective means of removing carbon from the atmosphere.

Biochar schemes are an approved technique under the UN-backed clean development mechanism offset scheme, but some green groups remain highly critical of the model, predicting that it will prove unviable on a large scale and that "biochar plantations" could contribute to deforestation in a manner similar to that associated with biofuels.

President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives said the country will work with the company Carbon Gold to ...

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