Since 2007, when this page was first sketched into place, we've made dramatic improvements in our understanding of what terra preta is, what biochar is, and what it's function is in the soil. Some of the better references and resources are given below.
Biochar Testing Labs
- EPRIDA Marietta, Georgia
Online Resourced Dedicated to Characterizing Biochars
Soil and Materials Science Centers
For the latest articles from Scientific Journals go to Science Direct and search for Biochar Characteristics.
The International Biochar Initiative http://www.biochar-international.org/ has a great FAQ and set of characteristics information about Biochar.
Characteristics and Function of Charcoal
From: Makoto Ogawa, Effects of Soil Microbial Fertility by Charcoal in Soil
- Porous substance with high water and air holding capacity; Suitable habitat for some microbes and plant growth, good material for soil amendment, absorption of chemicals and humidity control
- Alkaline; Neutralization of acidic soil and improvement of chemical components of soil and selection of microorganisms
- Non organic matter ; Exclusion of saprophytes and propagation of autotrophic and symbiotic microorganisms, free living nitrogen fixing bacteria, root nodule bacteria, Frankia and some mycorrhizal fungi
- Low mineral content ;