Sunday 26 February 2017

Michael waves the black flag via

Can biochar make climate change a profitable business opportunity?

In a world frozen in a futile debate on climate change, can we break the ice with win-win, sustainable solutions like biochar? Michael Shafer from NGO Warm Heart Worldwide thinks we can.

Wednesday 8 February 2017

IBI Webinar#2: Biochar and composting

February 27, 2017 • 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm ET

The economic and environmental benefits of co-composting and blending biochar and compost have been proven not just in academic research but also by businesses in the composting indistry.  This webinar provides both a scientific and industry perspective of these benefits.  Attendees learn what feedstocks are best used composts versus biochars, what production parameters produce the best biochars for compost blending and co-composting, the impact of co-composting and blending on biochar properties, N losses, compost mineralization and greenhouse gas emissions.  They will also hear from an expert from the composting industry with several years of successful trials and market experience with mixing compost and biochar.  An interactive Q&A period will follow.


Date: February 27, 2017
Time: 1:00 - 2:30 pm ET


IBI Members: FREE with code*
Non-Members: $40
Register here>>
*IBI Members can register for free using the discount code which has been emailed to all current IBI members.  If you have not received this discount code, you may renew your membership or join IBI here:  If you have any issues renewing your membership status, please send an email to:  For other registration-related questions, please send an email to:
Alternatively, non-IBI members may attend for a non-member rate of $40 or consider joining IBI to take advantage of member benefits including future webinars and book discounts.  Upon completion of this form and successful payment processing, you will receive a link to join the webinar on February 27.
Kathleen Draper
Kathleen is a member of the IBI Board and Chair of IBI's Information Hub.  She is also the US Director of the Ithaka Institute for Carbon Intelligence.  The Institute is an open source network focusing on beneficial carbon sequestration strategies which simultaneously provide economic development opportunities both in the developed and devloping world.  She is an editor and writer for The Biochar Journal, sponsored by the Ithaka Institute.  Kathleen also works with various different universities and individuals on projects that are investigating the use of biochar in cement and other building and packaging products with lower embodied carbon which can be made from locally available organic waste.  She has written extensively about various topics related to biochar and is a co-author of the book "Terra Preta: How the World's Most Fertile Soil Can Help Reverse Climate Change and Reduce World Hunger".
Dr. Miguel Angel Sanchez Monedero, Researcher, Spanish National Research Council
Dr. Sanchez Monedero has a BSc and PhD in Chemistry from the University of Murcia and MSc in Chemical Engineering from The University of Leeds (UK).  His research career has included: CEBAS-CSIC (Spain), The University of Udine (Italy) and The University of Leeds (UK).  Miguel's main research interests are: recycling of organic wastes through composting, C and N dynamics during composting and after soil application, environmental impact of the composting process (greenhouse gas emissions, bioaerosols), the impact of biochar on soil nutrient cycling and greenhouyse gas emissions and organic matter humification.

Jack Houck, Vice-President Environmental Services, Rexius
Jack Houck oversees all environmental and safety issues for Rexius, a company focused on recycling and processing organic waste and wood residual materials for the landscape, agricultural and environmental industries.  Jack is also responsible for all efforts in recycling and composting for the Rexius Company and is considered to be a leading expert on composting methods and strategies while working extensively on product improvement and development.

For More Information
What questions do you have about biochar quality and use?  Please send your questions by February 23rd to  For more information of if you have any questions about registration, please email Vera Medici at
Want to become an IBI member?  Visit our membership page to help support IBI!

Monday 6 February 2017

Philippines govt proposes biochar for mine rehabilitation

"ENVIRONMENT Secretary Gina Lopez said she was out to prove that "green economy" can provide more jobs than destructive mining even as she assured alternative livelihood opportunities to affected mine workers and their families."

"... She is also looking at the potential of biochar as a tool for mine rehabilitation. Biochar is a type of charcoal that is produced by burning only a small amount of oxygen. This enables the carbon to be absorbed by the plants and preventing it from accumulating in the atmosphere. Affected mine workers will also be tapped for reforestation activities under the Enhanced National Greening Program, as well as the government's planned expansion of bamboo and mangrove plantations to fight climate change and poverty. Under the SIAD approach, "mini economic zones" will be created in order to generate employment, livelihood and income-generating activities in communities where mining companies operate."(SDR/SunStar Philippines)

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Singapore Workshop Report

The following report is Co/ Prof. Ng Wei Cheng at NUS...

The 2nd Renewable Energy and Biochar workshop, organized by the CREATE E2S2 program, was successfully held at the CREATE Tower of the National University of Singapore (NUS) on 19 January 2017. The workshop featuring five distinguished academic speakers in the area of renewable energy and biochar (Prof Ruzhu Wang, Prof Yong Sik Ok, Prof Chi-Hwa Wang, Prof Yanjun Dai and Prof Tianshu Ge) attracted about 40 participants with quite a number of biochar industry players. The industry panel discussion session in the workshop has also served as a good platform to promote dialogue between researchers in Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) and industry for potential collaborative opportunities.
In the workshop, Prof Ok from the Korea Biochar Research Center (KBRC), Kangwon National University talked about the research trend in biochar in a presentation titled “SMART biochar technology? A shifting paradigm towards advanced materials and energy/environment research”. He shared how the initial research on using biochar for soil improvement and carbon dioxide sequestration, has expanded and found new applications in engineering, health care and life sciences. The increasing number of research publications over the past few years shows that the biochar topic is getting more popular. While biochar in general is accepted as being harmless to the environment, he cautioned that the source of the feedstock for the production of biochar may give rise to PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) and should be tested for toxicity. Last but not least, he also showcased his biochar related research work in a diverse spectrum of applications, as well as his industry collaborative projects with some of the biggest companies in Korea.

Apart from biochar experts in the academia, the workshop has attracted a number of active biochar or charcoal manufacturers in Southeast Asia. For instance, Mr Bryan Lee, a charcoal manufacturer from Sepatang, Malaysia shared a little with us on his charcoal manufacturing facility and the fields in which his charcoal is being utilized in. Mr Balathandautham Tam from Moringa Village also shared his coconut plantation planning in Palembang, Indonesia that involves the setting up of coconut oil production and conversion of coconut shells to charcoal. Besides Indonesia, he also has some plans for plantation in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. 

More interestingly, big multi-national companies such as Sembcorp Industries Ltd, a leading energy, water, marine and urban development group, has also shown deep interest in biochar development in the region. Additionally, the workshop has also drawn the attention of an investment group that is interested in our integrated technology that handles both wet and dry waste, and yet capable of producing biochar. Last but not least, Mr Trevor Richards from the International Biochar Initiative (IBI) also shared a little about IBI and the upcoming plan of a 3-day practical biochar workshop in Thailand toward the end of February 2017, covering both production and applications.