New Zealand Biochar Research Centre

The New Zealand Biochar Research Centre (NZBRC) is an internationally-recognised research centre, working to advance the understanding of biochar for mitigating global climate change. We also work to enable its use in New Zealand, particularly by the agricultural  and forestry sectors.

Biochar is a 2,000 year-old practice that converts agricultural waste into a soil enhancer that can hold carbon, boost food security and discourage deforestation.

The process creates a fine-grained, highly porous charcoal that helps soils retain nutrients and water. This could have huge implications for the mitigation of climate change.

Our Centre's research focuses on the closely linked areas of soil science and biochar, pyrolysis plant and biochar engineering and greenhouse gas mitigation strategies. 

We are investigating topics including how the process can be made economically viable and how to produce environmentally safe biochars form New Zealand feedstocks.


We recently contributed to a report on global soil condition issued by the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils.

Our investigation of 'Biochar Produced from Tomato Crop Green waste' has been published internationally.

The Centre is led by Massey University's Associate Professor Marta Camps-Arbestain. An internationally-respected researcher in this area, she leads a team of staff and students from around the world.