Litter Biochar

Litter Biochar

Litter biochar is an additive that keeps the litter in the stable dry and loose. Litter biochar is suitable for horses, cattle, pigs, poultry, goats as well as sheep, and as others. Litter biochar increases the efficiency of the litter material and saves valuable time that does not have to be spent on cleaning out. In addition, it binds odors, is animal-friendly and absorbs nutrients such as nitrogen, water and microorganisms, which upgrade the manure.

The litter biochar is spread directly in the stable, either pure or loaded with microorganisms, and does not stain. Due to its absorbing capacity, litter biochar imitates a meadow in the stable.

Advantages of Litter Biochar

  • Odor reduction through ammonia binding 
  • Improved stable climate and increase in the well-being of animals 
  • Prevention of the spread of toxins, pathogens and putrefaction through moisture binding 
  • Saving of antibiotics and doctor’s visits 
  • Time saving 
  • Saving of straw and other litter

Litter biochar noticeably improves the stable climate and the litter quality for animals, as it prevents wet and damp spots and binds pathogens and ammonia. Litter biochar is thus an ideal preventive measure against the spread of hoof-, skin- and other diseases that spread in a moist environment. In this way, visits to the doctor and the use of medicines, such as antibiotics, can be reduced and the water cycle is preserved. In addition, nutrient cycles are closed, since the manure or slurry is used as fertilizer.

Biochar is an effective way to store carbon in the long-term. Thus, the application of biochar in agriculture leads to negative emissions and carbon removal certificates (CORC) can be sold.

Degree of Development 

The use of char as a binder due to its adsorptive properties has been common for centuries. The use of litter biochar has increased over the last few years, but varies from region to region. The pioneer in the use of litter biochar has so far been Switzerland.


The litter biochar is either evenly mixed with the litter material and spread on the stable or cage floor as usual. Or the litter biochar is spread first and then  the litter is spread as usual.

Litter biochar is low in dust due to a residual water content and a coarse-grained particle size.


When the litter is renewed, approximately 150 g per animal should be used for large animals such as cattle, pigs and horses. For small animals such as poultry and pets, approximately 5-10 g is recommended. As a rule of thumb, 10 percent by volume of litter biochar in relation to the overall litter is considered optimal. This amount can be reduced if biochar is already used as animal feed.

Approval & Certification

Litter biochar is offered for conventional as well as organic farms.

Regarding approval and certification the same regulations as for soil biochar and manure biochar apply: If biochar is used for agricultural purposes, its harmlessness must be certified, as pollutants such as “PAHs, as well as dioxins and heavy metals, could enter the human food chain and accumulate permanently in soil.”1EBC (2012-2022) ‘European Biochar Certificate – Richtlinien für die Zertifizierung von Pflanzenkohle’, Ithaka Institute, Arbaz, Switzerland. Version 10.1G vom 10. Januar 2022 In Europe, a certification is offered by the European Biochar Consortium (EBC). Manure biochar for conventional agriculture requires the EBC-Agro certification standard, whereas organic agriculture requires the EBC-AgroBio standard, with the difference being stricter heavy metal and PAH limits for latter2EBC (2012-2022) ‘European Biochar Certificate – Richtlinien für die Zertifizierung von Pflanzenkohle’, Ithaka Institute, Arbaz, Switzerland. Version 10.1G vom 10. Januar 2022.

The application of manure biochar is allowed in the EU as well as Switzerland. Biochar from wood and other organic biomass has been approved for use as fertilizer in the EU since July 2022 (updated EU Fertilizer Regulation 2019/1009).
In organic farming, the use of biochar as animal feed has also been approved in the EU since January 2020. Not all organic farming associations explicitly support the use of biochar. The Demeter label permits the use of biochar only as a composting aid in the form of organic fertilizer and as mulch material since January 20223Demeter (2022), RICHTLINIEN 2022, Erzeugung und Verarbeitung Richtlinien für die Zertifizierung »Demeter« und »Biodynamisch«. GÜLTIG AB 01. JANUAR 2022. Aufgerufen am 20.Juli 2022 von

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