The Australian Government has announced $1.4 million in funding for research into  biochar – a form of charcoal that can store carbon in the soil for an average of 5,000 years.

The three-year programme, to be co-ordinated by the CSIRO, will be one of the largest such investigations in the world.

Agriculture Minister Tony Burke, said that biochar has the potential to significantly reduce Australia’s carbon emissions. "You can find places where particular biochars have had a fantastic outcome for the soil, impacts on salinity, impacts on water retention, as well as impacts on keeping carbon underground," he said. "But at the same time, there’s a lot of complexity in trying to match the right biochar to the right soil."

See this article at GreenBiz Cafe for more information about the potential of biochar.