Ithaka Institut

Cascading use of biochar in animal farming

At present some 90% of the biochar used in Europe goes first into animal farming and only post-consumption does it become a soil amendment. Whether used in feeding, bedding (litter) or in slurry treatment, a farmer will quickly notice less odor. Used as a feed supplement, the incidence of diarrhea rapidly decreases, feed intake is improved, allergies disappear, and animals become calmer. While passing through the digestion system the biochar get charged with plant nutrients. Bound to the biochar surfaces and pores, these nutrients tend less to be lost through leaching or by gaseous emissions thereby helping to improve agronomic nutrient cycles and reduce pressure on the ecosystem.

Feeding biochar to livestock at rates of 1% of their daily feed intake could reduce GHG-emissions worldwide by 1 to 5%, reduce contamination of soil from antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, pesticides and other toxic substances found in animal manure.