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The Economic Value of Biochar in Crop Production and Carbon Sequestration

  • Suzette P. Galinato
  • Jonathan K. Yoder
  • David Granatstein


    (School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University)

This paper estimates the economic value of biochar application on agricultural cropland for carbon sequestration and its soil amendment properties. In particular, we consider the carbon emissions avoided when biochar is applied to agricultural soil, instead of agricultural lime, the amount of carbon sequestered, and the value of carbon offsets, assuming there is an established carbon trading mechanism for biochar soil application. We use winter wheat production in Eastern Whitman County, Washington as a case study, and consider different carbon offset price scenarios and different prices of biochar to estimate a farm profit. Our findings suggest that it may be profitable to apply biochar as a soil amendment under some conditions if the biochar market price is low enough and/or a carbon offset market exists.

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Paper provided by School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University in its series Working Papers with number 2010-3.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wsu:wpaper:sgalinato-2
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  1. Mathews, John A., 2008. "Carbon-negative biofuels," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 940-945, March.
  2. Maria Mansanet-Bataller & Angel Pardo & Enric Valor, 2007. "CO2 Prices, Energy and Weather," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 73-92.
  3. Johannes Lehmann & John Gaunt & Marco Rondon, 2006. "Bio-char Sequestration in Terrestrial Ecosystems – A Review," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 395-419, March.
  4. Koenig, P., 2011. "Modelling Correlation in Carbon and Energy Markets," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1123, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
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