About the Atlas 2017-08-08T21:07:34+00:00

About the PNW Biochar Atlas


A growing body of evidence suggests that biochars can provide “win-win-win” solutions to sustain rural livelihoods, preserve natural ecosystems, and adapt to climate variability. Our objective is to share a range of tools, reports, and evaluations of biochars’ abilities to provide these benefits.

The purpose of this Atlas is to:

  1. Provide guidance to farmers, gardeners, and other end-users on the potential benefits of biochars, including decision support tools to select biochar types and amendment rates.
  2. Support biochar producers, by sharing state-of-the-science and state-of the-industry evaluations for the PNW region.
  3. Share case studies from early adopters.


The genesis of this Atlas was a research project to evaluate whether biochar can provide drought adaptation in agroecosystems. However, for biochar to be an effective tool for drought adaptation, it also has to have proven benefits for plant growth, be economically feasible, and not have other negative environmental impacts. Meaningful evaluations of biochar require input from a range of individuals, including biomass utilization experts, engineers, economists, soil scientists, agronomists, and importantly, end-users who are continuously innovating new ways of making and using biochar. This Atlas provides a format to bring together the diverse perspectives of individuals from across the region.

We welcome submissions of additional case studies, research, and characterization data for regionally-produced biochars. Submissions will be reviewed for approval. Please contact Kristin Trippe or Claire Phillips to discuss your submissions.


This Atlas was produced by Claire L. Phillips and Kristin M. Trippe  of the USDA Agricultural Research Service Forage Seed and Cereal Research Unit, in Corvallis, Oregon.

Additional support was provided by Sarah Light, now with the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR), and Adam Lindsley of the Dept of Crop and Soil Science at Oregon State University.


The PNW Biochar Atlas was funded jointly by the Department of Interior Northwest Climate Science Center and the USDA Northwest Climate Hub. Award numbers…