Tuesday, 29 January 2013

More biochar related conference activity in Malaysia

SOILS 2013 (Malaysian Society of Soil Science)
Good Agriculture Practice (GAP) For Soil Health Sustainability 
Session 3: Biochar and Biofertilizers
16 – 18 April, 2013
Bukit Gambang Resort City, 26300 Gambang, Pahang

Call for voluntary oral and poster papers
Scientific papers are in the form of oral and poster presentations. Participants who are wishing to present a paper should send an extended abstract together with the registration form. Proceedings will be prepared for the papers. Extended abstract with maximum 5 pages, which include title, author’s name and affiliation, introduction, methodology, results and discussion (including Tables and Figures), conclusion, acknowledgement (if any) and references. Text should be typed using MS Word; size of 12 with Times New Roman and single line spacing on A4 sized paper.
Due date for submission of extended abstract : 10 February 2013

You can access a copy of the announcement & registration form from the following link:

Monday, 28 January 2013

The Second International Biochar Training Course held at Nanjing Agricultural University (NJAU)

Announcement from Dr Stephen Joseph...
"Following the success of the first training course the Biochar and Green Agriculture Centre of Nanjing Agriculture University in Collaboration with the University of Newcastle of Australia and the University of NSW is announcing a second course to be held in October 2013. China now leads the world in the commercial production of both biochar and biochar technology. It has pioneered the development of combine NPK biochar granulated fertilizers.

Participants meet with village women during field trip to look at biochar field trials

This will be an opportunity to not only meet some of China’s leading experts but also biochar researchers and practitioners from other regions. Participants will be able to view commercial businesses producing biochar, energy and biochar NPK fertilizers as well as run small and medium scale biochar plant at the University.

The aims of this training course are;
1) To provide a world wide overview of the biochar industry, research and development and policy setting.
2) To provide an overview of what is known and what is not known about;
a) properties of biochars and wood vinegar as a function of feedstock, process conditions and technology and
b) crop responses of different biochars, biochar/NPK mixes and enhanced biochars, incorporated at different application rates and different pre and post treatments in different eco-systems.
2) To provide an understanding of the principles and practice of pyrolysis and biochar production and application.
3) To provide tools that allows participants to develop enhanced biochars to match local soil requirements and meet plant nutrient needs.
4) To explore the use of biochar in land remediation, waste management and animal health
5) To provide a framework that allows the development and implementation of sustainable and self sustaining biochar projects and/or establish biochar businesses
6) To provide an interactive environment where participants can exchange information and experiences.

1. Location: Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

2. Dates: 9th October 2013

3. Duration and Format: Duration is 7 days....."

Hopefully, you can access the file attachment that further details this announcement from the following link:

Preparation of highly porous binderless activated carbon electrodes from fibres of oil palm empty fruit bunches for application in supercapacitors

Another interesting pathway for biomass carbon with links to SEA research activity...


Fibres from oil palm empty fruit bunches, generated in large quantities by palm oil mills, were processed into self-adhesive carbon grains (SACG). Untreated and KOH-treated SACG were converted without binder into green monolith prior to N2-carbonisation and CO2-activation to produce highly porous binderless carbon monolith electrodes for supercapacitor applications. Characterisation of the pore structure of the electrodes revealed a significant advantage from combining the chemical and physical activation processes. The electrochemical measurements of the supercapacitor cells fabricated using these electrodes, using cyclic voltammetry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and galvanostatic charge-discharge techniques consistently found that approximately 3 hours of activation time, achieved via a multi-step heating profile, produced electrodes with a high surface area of 1704 m2 g-1 and a total pore volume of 0.889 cm3 g-1, corresponding to high values for the specific capacitance, specific energy and specific power of 150 F g-1, 4.297 W h kg-1 and 173 W kg-1, respectively.


► Oil palm empty fruit bunches have been processed into supercapacitor electrodes. ► CO2 and KOH activations can produce highly porous binderless carbon electrodes. ► Small quantity KOH can reduce CO2 activation time significantly. ► Supercapacitors based on these electrodes exhibit excellence performances. ► Therefore this novel method offers a significant economic advantage.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

The Longterm Impact of Biochar in Soil (Season 2)

Fascinating results from Re-char in Kenya...

Based on our findings, we conclude that the most effective staple-crop fertilization strategy for smallholders is to combine biochar with dilute human urine solution. With over 1,000 farmers in Western Kenya now using our technology, we find these test results are consistent with user reports.

Urine is readily available, and free to collect. While biochar must be applied at high concentrations (6,000 kg/acre) to see the greatest impacts, it can be added progressively over time, to sustainably increase yields. With each seasonal application, farmers will see an improvement in their yield. By eliminating chemical fertilizer consumption, a farmer can save up to $200/year."

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

ECHO Asia biochar activity in Thailand & Mayanmar

I've just discovered that Rick Burnette from ECHO Asia in Thailand is publishing an associated blog and a search on this blogsite reveals 3 postings on their biochar associated work...

Great to see some activity beginning in Mayanmar

Nordic Development Fund - biochar project in Nepal

This well funded biochar project is not strictly SEA but great to see this scale of activity kicking off in the region...

Nepal Pilot Project to Test the Climate Change Benefits of Biochar
Project period: 2013-2015
Partner agency: Asian Development Bank

The Pilot Project to Test the Climate Change Benefits of Biochar, is an add-on component to an on-going Strategic Program for Climate Resilience (SPCR) project, Mainstreaming Climate Risk Management in Development, lead by the Asian Development Bank.

The objective of the biochar project is to pilot-test, in three agro-ecological zones of Nepal, biochar production as a climate change adapting soil amendment, carbon sequestration method, and rural energy source in Nepal. Biochar is a stable form of charcoal produced from heating natural organic materials (agricultural waste, woodchips, manure) in a high temperature, low oxygen process known as pyrolysis. Biochar is said to have multiple benefits, both in terms of adaptation to and mitigation of climate change. The aim is to test and demonstrate these benefits in Nepal.

The project will adopt an ecosystem approach, i.e. using things available in the local area to improve food and fuel security and rural energy, while reducing farmers’ dependence on external inputs such as fertilizers and fossil fuels. The target group will be households and farmers, which will be selected from 3 agro-climatic zones using the targeting criteria of degraded land and water stressed environment. The biochar will be produced in biochar cook stoves, which is a type of improved cook stove.

Nepal is a suitable country to pilot test the benefits of biochar due to i) the severe problem of access to rural areas in Nepal, causing many farmers to consistently miss out on agricultural inputs; ii) the scope for piloting biochar in three agro climatic zones; iii) the Government of Nepal’s priority on the agriculture and energy sectors; and iv) the high relative vulnerability of Nepal to climate change.

ADB will be the executing agency, carrying out the procurement and being the contracting party. The Ministry of Agriculture Development will be responsible for coordination and monitoring on behalf of the government. The Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) will take the lead in identifying pilot sites, designing and conducting agronomic field trials and overall project management, while the National Academy for Science and Technology (NAST) will take responsibility for commissioning and testing the two types of pyrolysis units and production and testing of biochar.

The total cost of the biochar component is USD 650,000, approximately EUR 500,000. NDF financing will be EUR 460,000. The Government of Nepal will provide USD 50,000. NDF Contact
Country Program Manager Emeli Möller
Telephone +358 10 618 002

Monday, 21 January 2013

Malaysian biochar seminar announcement

"... we are pleased to inform you that Biomass-SP will be organizing a 2-day seminar on the Commercialization of Sustainable Biochar on the 19 – 20 March 2013 at Hotel Equatorial Bangi, Malaysia.

.... We would greatly appreciate it if you could indicate your interest to present at the seminar no later than 31 January 2013...

Please do not hesitate to contact me, Ms. Sofie Shaaruddin at 03 8884 8936 or via email at should you have further questions. On behalf of biomass-SP, I would like to convey our gratitude to your kind consideration and support, and we look forward to a favorable response.

Thank you.
Best regards,

Sofie Shaaruddin
Reseach Analyst
Tel: +603 8884 8936
Fax: +603 8884 8838

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Synergisms between Compost and Biochar for Sustainable Soil Amelioration

The link below leads to a detailed new report on...
"Synergisms between Compost and Biochar for Sustainable Soil Amelioration"
Daniel Fischer* and Bruno Glaser
Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg,
Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences, Soil Biogeochemistry, Halle, Germany

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves - Cambodia conference

I note that Dr TLUD (Paul Anderson) will be attending the following conference in Cambodia, 18-22 March so biochar will be a focus of attention at this conference...

"We invite you to the Clean Cooking Forum 2013: Igniting Change, Fueling Markets & Sparking Adoption

The goal of the Forum is to further a market-based approach to the global adoption of clean cooking solutions, and to continue to drive innovations in research, market development, standards and testing, project finance, and policy development. The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is very excited to be holding the Forum in Southeast Asia – a region of enormous potential for the clean cookstoves and fuels sector, and a dynamic market for many of our partners.
Participants at the Forum can expect to network with professionals from the clean cookstoves and fuels sector, exchange ideas and experiences with global leaders from the finance, development, health, and environment fields, learn new techniques for improving and measuring the effectiveness of their clean cooking projects and programs, and gather the latest information on cutting edge research and funding opportunities.  In addition, the Forum will also provide attendees with a unique opportunity to learn from their peers through an exploration of innovative best practices and case studies, as well as through discussions of shared experiences in the sector during informal discussions throughout the week.
The sector has never been more cohesive and prepared to tackle this silent killer that impacts almost half the world’s population. The Forum will give us the opportunity to come together, learn from one another, and move our collective goals forward, further imbued with the belief that cooking shouldn’t kill.
The Forum Coordination Group"

Philippine Biochar Conference, 17-18 April 2013

The Philippine Biochar Association have presented to IBI, a concept paper for their biochar conference plans in Quezon City in April this year. I anticipate that a link to a conference website will be available soon but in the mean time, I suggest contacting PBA direct for participation details.