Tuesday 25 January 2011

Biocharm project - final report now available

This 100+ page report includes information on the field trials with rice husk chars from small scale gasifier systems in Cambodia.

"... While there has been much discussion of biochar as a sustainable strategy in developing countries, there have as yet been very few detailed case-studies from feedstock to field deployment. This report presents original field trial results using carbonized rice husk (CRH) and sugar cane trash and corn cob char. It aims to evaluate systems of feedstocks - energy conversion technologies - and agricultural use of biochar."

Tuesday 18 January 2011

Biochar in slash-and-burn agricultural systems in Northern Laos

Bryan Hugill has provided the following project announcement summary for the IBI January newsletter...

Biochar in slash-and-burn agricultural systems in Northern Laos

SaafConsult will be working with the GTZ/GIZ in the Sayabouri province, Laos, in early 2011 to undertake an assessment of the technical feasibility for biochar applications as a complementary approach for REDD. The work aims to inform the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on the current status of implementing biochar as a carbon sequestration method in tropical countries and to assess the potential and technical feasibility for applying biochar in halting shifting cultivation (slash-and-burn) through the sustainable utilization of woody biomass to increase of soil fertility and improve carbon sequestration (slash and char).

For more information, please contact Bryan Hugill ( /

Biochar related activities in Malaysia

Below are 3 more news items for the January edition of the IBI newsletter Co/ Dr Robert Bachmann from UniKL in Malaysia...

UniKL degree students have carried out preliminary studies on heat transfer efficiency, particulate and CO emission as well as biochar production potential of improved (Paul Anderson's TLUD, Crispin Pendecott's VESTO) and traditional Malaysian cooking stoves. Biofuels tested include crushed coconut shells and EFB pellets. Experiments will be repeated this year to verify the findings from 2010. Our improved cooking stove test project is also participating in a cooking stove survey spearheaded by IBI (personal communication with Kelpie Wilson, IBI communications editor) for the 2011 World Bank study advertised last year. Two degreee students from the Royal Agriculture University, Cambodia, have been selected to join our team for a period of 6 months.
UniKL is also collaborating with the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) to convert solid palm oil mill waste into syngas, biooil and biochar. Experiments are carried out at lab- and field-scale in terms of biochar production and soil trials. AllPowerLabs' Biochar Experimenter Kit (BEK, is currently being set-up at MPOB to produce biochar for field trials in the second half of 2011.
Scientists from MARDI (Malaysia), UniKL, Cornell University (USA) and NGI (Norway) have also joined forces to investigate the sequestering of carbon and improve soil quality and crop yield.

Monday 17 January 2011

Terra Preta Sanitation project in Philippines

Dr Elmer V Sayre has provided a biochar related project report from the Philippines. This has been sent to IBI for the January newsletter. A summary of this report is provided below... the full report is available on request. The Ecosan project ( is also linked to this work.

Transforming Human Waste and Other Organic Matter into Highly Fertile Soil via Terra Preta Sanitation and Biochar: The WAND Foundation Experience

........."Our Terra Preta – Biochar mix include sawdust, urine, animal manure, feces, charcoal and the bacteria Bacillus subtilis.  The feces we get from the number of urine diverting, dehydration (ecosan) toilets that we established among local cooperators in 3 municipalities in Misamis Oriental and in Dipolog City. The charcoal we are using are partially burned rice chaff from rice mills in Dipolog City as well as charcoal from copra production." ..........

........... "So far our results are encouraging. Last November 2010, we started an experiment using our terra preta – biochar mix to coconuts, bananas and rice. We also provided the mix to our farmer-cooperators as pilot initiatives with the view of expanding this later on."

E-copies of my book on experiences in promoting ecological sanitation is available upon request.

Elmer V. Sayre, Ph.D., In-house Adviser, WAND Foundation, Libertad, Misamis Oriental. Email address: elmer2222001(at)"