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Monday, 23 February 2015

Climate change and biochar

I've recently posted to the NZ biochar interest group (AllBlackEarth) on 3 very interesting video presentations that tie biochar into climate change and other environmental issues. Do check them out if this subject is of interest to you...

Friday, 20 February 2015

Hugh McLaughlin - Biochar: A Powerful Tool for Carbon Farming

Very informative 10min from Hugh McLaughlin on biochar production fundamentals. 



"Hugh McLaughlin, an engineer and expert in biochar and activated carbon, discusses the many applications of biochar for environmental improvement and its role in reversing global warming."

The presentation was part of "Biodiversity for a living climate" event. If you have trouble with the viewing frame size here, then look for it and connect via the link above (plenty of other great presentations to be found) or click on the YouTube link.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Biochar, compost and tree growth research from Singapore

 Dr Subhadip Ghosh from the Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology, National Parks Board, Singapore and two colleagues from the University of New England in NSW, Australia published the following paper early last year. The paper is listed with IBI but I managed to miss the release...

Influence of biochar and compost on soil properties and tree growth in a tropical urban environment

Abstract (<

Research relating to the use of organic amendments on soils has focused largely on agricultural soils, and there is a lack of information worldwide on their efficacy as amendments for urban soil management, especially in tropical urban environments. A pot experiment was conducted to assess the influence of biochar and organic compost on urban soil properties and on tree growth performance in Singapore. Biochar and compost were mixed with topsoil in different proportions, and two urban tree species commonly grown in Singapore (Samanea saman and Suregada multiflora) were used. There were significant additional height increments for both the tree species following application of biochar. S. saman exhibited greater stem elongation compared with S. multiflora in response to organic amendments. A significantly higher foliar N content was found in both tree species in biochar-amended treatments along with significant increases in P and K. Increases in soil nutrient concentrations were also observed in combined biochar–compost treatments for both species. Combined compost and biochar had the strongest effects on soils and growth of the two urban tree species examined and applications containing biochar resulted in the most significant soil improvements.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

GreenGen TLUD / retort stoves from Vietnam


http://www.greengenstove.com/index.php/en/component/content/article/12-intro/48-intro-e2
GreenGen Stove: is a TLUD (top lit up-draft) can save 50%-70% wood compare to traditional stoves. 
GreenGen Stove: is designed to use with optional Biomass Boxes. Lose biomass such as rice husk, straw, garden leaves,... can be put in biomass box(es) for cooking. Depending on avalablity of the biomass, users can have flexible choice of using wood only or in combination with 1 or 2 biomass boxes.
GreenGen Stove create Biochar: the biomass boxes create biochar as a byproduct at the end of the cooking process. The harvested Biochar can be used as soil enrichment or to make char briquette to cook again.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Biochar demonstration projects in Myanmar, Indonesia and Vietnam

This job advertisement identifies existing biochar demonstration projects in Myanmar, Indonesia and Vietnam. Closing date is 23Feb so still time to get your CV in! It is not clear what organisation is running this program. If you have some idea, please let us know - it would be nice to know more about these SEA projects.

Project Director - Sustainable Land Management

Job Summary
This innovative not-for-profit organisation has a proven record in supporting regional sustainability throughout Australia and beyond.  They are excited to be working on their largest initiative to date and seeking to appoint a passionate, capable and suitably qualified Project Director to lead this important global project. 
The purpose of the project is to demonstrate and promote the adoption of sustainable land management practices involving the use of innovative organic amendments, based on biochar. Funded by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Global Environment Fund (GEF), the project's duration will be 2.5 - 3 years commencing early 2015.
Reporting to the Executive Director with accountability to a Technical Steering Committee, you will lead the project working with six existing biochar demonstration projects in the developing world locations of:  Peru, Myanmar, Aceh, China (Henan, Hunan, Anhui and Jiangsu), Kenya, Ethiopia and Vietnam.  Your responsibilities will include evaluation of the role and potential of biochar in SLM; building awareness, knowledge and improved understanding and establishing knowledge management dissemination systems – particularly for small landholders and farming groups; establishing local and international networks of demonstration sites and farming groups and providing training in the use of bochar.  Further aiding your success will be your strengths in coordinating and delivering in a complex project arena and establishing strong relationships and working effectively with a broad range of stakeholders including the six in-country partner organisations, the UNEP and GEF, agricultural landholders and farming groups.

 

Monday, 19 January 2015

UTAR Agricluture Science Journal: Biochar - reversing the flow of carbon

http://uasj.utar.edu.my/uasj/index.jsp?fcatid=18858

HERE is a link to an article on biochar that I've had published in the inaugural issue of the above journal (click on image above for link to the journal).


This is a general introduction to biochar with a focus on history, applications, climate change and carbon sequestration. I hope to say more about biochar production and industry development in SEA in a followup article.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Campfire Lessons: Breaking Down the Combustion Process to Understand Biochar Production

This new article from The Biochar Journal is another great introduction to biochar production and application...

By Mark R. Fuchs, M. Garcia-Perez, P. Small and G. Flora

“Campfires were the first step in the evolution of slow pyrolysis reactors. Observing the play of the flames while sitting around a campfire is still one of the best possible lessons to understand the main principles of pyrolysis. Mark Fuchs and colleagues bring the different natural phenomenon of the fire into context of modern pyrolysis.” …

Reviewer comment

Catherine Brewer:
One of the frequent challenges experienced by members of the biochar community is figuring out how to explain biochar and biomass thermochemical processes to friends and family members. The authors’ use of the campfire illustration is so helpful because it is familiar to a wide audience and scientifically accurate at the same time. After hearing this illustration the first time myself, I remember thinking, “I will never again see just a campfire.”

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Albert Bates' Year in Review 2014

Albert Bates has done a great job here summarizing 2014 from a climate perspective. Very depressing but hope starts at 24mins.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Estero clean-up project in UP community - Philippines

I assume estero is estuary but I've not had luck finding a translation...
http://manilastandardtoday.com/2015/01/03/estero-clean-up-project-in-up-community/

"The estero running through Block 5 in Daang Tubo (a community inside the UP Campus) is on its way to being clean.
GMA Network and its partners, the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association, the Philippine Biochar Association and the Sagip Ilog Pilipinas, collaborated on the Clean River Zone Biochar Community initiative.
The Kapuso Network and its partners signed a Memorandum of Agreement in early 2014 to clean up the said estero using bokashi balls (bokashi balls are made from dried mud and other organic materials, including biochar, and are used to clean bodies of water that have high concentrations of sludge and slime)." ...