The potential of charcoal and of partially combusted organic waste to mimic the soil organic matter of the Terras Pretas de Indios (Amazonian Dark Earths) from the Amazon Region is discussed. These materials serve as soil conditioners and as sequesterers of carbon in recalcitrant and in reactive forms. Studies carried out by Brazilian and by international groups have contributed to the emergence of an awareness of the compositions and of the uses of these materials. In this contribution we report on chemical studies that are leading to the development of a scientific and technological awareness, and of innovations that will have value in finding novel uses in applications to soil of chars from organic wastes such as those from the biofuel industry, and from metallurgical and various coal plant residues.
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