Global biochar market soared to $600m in 2023

The International Biochar Initiative (IBI) and the US Biochar Initiative (USBI) have announced the release of the 2023 Global Biochar Market Report, which shows a 91 per cent CAGR production growth rate from 2021 to 2023.

This report surveyed over 1000 stakeholders from all industry subsectors, with responses from 101 countries across the globe.

The study, the first industry-produced, global research since 2015, highlights the significant strides and potential of biochar as a carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technology, underscoring its increasing role as a climate change solution.

Biochar is a stable form of carbon created from organic materials, such as agricultural crop residues and forestry trimmings. It has emerged as a leading technology in delivering durable CDR, boasting a potential removal of up to 6 per cent of global emissions annually.

The Norwegian Geotechnical Institute says that as well as storing carbon, biochar mixed in soil will prevent the spread of pollution and increase production on agricultural land. Biochar can be made from all types of organic waste, even sewage sludge, as long as the biomass is dry enough. The Institute has been researching biochar for over ten years, and believes biochar is an ingenious way to reuse organic fractions that are otherwise wasted.

In 2023, biochar carbon removal represented over 90 per cent of delivered carbon credits ( With a current production rate of at least 350,000 metric tonnes annually, the biochar industry is on a steep growth trajectory, and with a clear path to delivering a gigaton of biochar carbon removal by 2040.

This rapid expansion is matched by a strong industry optimism, and IBI projects revenues to soar to nearly $3.3 billion by 2025, from $600 million in 2023.

The report identifies key challenges and areas for future research, such as enhancing participation in voluntary carbon markets and overcoming obstacles to scaling high-quality markets for physical biochar. It also emphasises the diversity of production technologies and business models within the industry, advocating for a more inclusive approach that accommodates various scales of operation and supports production around the world.

IBI Chair, Lucia Brusegan, said, “Biochar is a system, and this market research confirms the interconnectedness of market demand, carbon credits, physical biochar benefits and uses. This research also shows the many scales in which biochar is produced, from massive industrial plants that also produce clean energy, to smaller kilns that are helping farmers utilise crop residues and shift from crop burning. The report highlights the adaptability of biochar systems in addressing various climate change challenges, encompassing carbon removal, among others.”

Report co-author, Myles Gray, Operations Director, USBI, said, “The results from this survey highlight the growth in the biochar industry as it emerges as a key CDR technology. At the same time, the survey sends a clear message that developing high volume, high value markets for biochar is a key challenge. USBI and IBI are focused on developing these markets, in collaboration with biochar industry partners, to develop robust markets for biochar in industrial and agricultural supply-chains where biochar can help meet GHG emissions targets such as SBTi.”

Stressing the importance of industry organisations in supporting growth through market demand generation, policy advocacy, and access to funding, the report culminates in a call to action for increased engagement from all industry sectors and geographic regions.

Read the 2023 Global Biochar Market Report

IMAGE: Norwegian Geotechnical Institute

Support a practical, investable and inclusive narrative for land use.

Sign-up to receive our newsletter

Newsletter Signup
Contribute for just £2.50 per week
Skip to content