Friday, 23 February 2018

Willie Smits - Borneo update

Dr Thomas Goreau, a climate and coastal restoration scientist, has been to visit Dr Willie Smits in Borneo. I first covered Willie Smits work way back in 2010 (see WillieSmits label) and have had some positive dialogue since on biochar and related issues. Dr Goreau has come back with warm praise and the following report...

I've embedded the 2nd YouTube, as it focuses more on biochar production (Adams retort) but the first video is also great... focusing on sugar palm as a sustainable, community based tropical industry.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Biochar research from Papua New Guinea

Great to see biochar research coming from Papua New Guinea...

Effects of biochar, urea and their co-application on the nitrogen mineralization in soil and growth of Chinese cabbage crop

Ruth Baiga and Rajashekhar Rao BK*

Department of Agriculture
The Papua New Guinea University of Technology
Private Mail Bag, Lae 411
Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea
Tel: +675 4734464, Fax: +675 4734477

* Dr. Rajashekhar Rao B.K., E-mail:

Experiments were conducted to study the influence of biochar material on N mineralization pattern from the soil applications of kunai grass (Imperata cylindrica) biochar (at 0 and 10 t ha-1) and laboratory grade urea (0, 200 and 500 kg N ha-1) and their co-application to an acid soil. The results of incubation study showed that biochar only treatment and co-application with urea at 200 kg N ha-1 could impede transformation of urea to NH4+-N. Soil application of biochar together with urea 500 kg N ha-1 produced the highest NO3--N and mineral N concentrations in the soil over 90 days. In a parallel study performed under greenhouse conditions, Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L. ssp. chinensis L.) crop showed highest marketable fresh weight, N uptake and N use efficiency in soil treated with biochar along with urea at 500 kg N ha-1. However, soil incorporation of biochar only or combined application with urea did not offer any short-term agronomic advantages over mineral fertilizer only at 200 or 500 kg N ha-1.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

IBI monthly research compilation

Robert Gillett, IBI newsletter editor, is now compiling monthly summaries of biochar related research. These are being circulated to IBI members and are available from the members area of the IBI website. This is a great resource which was kicked off in November 2017... four months of the latest biochar research, compiled, summarised and searchable. Click on the link below to access the latest compilation as a sample. Do consider supporting IBI with your membership.

"Papers in the February list are from last month's new 'biochar' entries in Google Scholar. Quotes are from the papers, which are accessible through the links provided. These have been extracted by IBI Newsletter Editor Robert W. Gillett to keep the length of this addendum manageable, yet informative enough to prompt further investigation by readers. Emphasis was placed on highlighting new findings leading to practical application, but with the expectation that decisions will be informed by accessing the full publication.
Click here to access the full list."

Biochar in Vietnam - IBI report

A review of current biochar status in Vietnam

by Tran Thi Thu Hien

"Vietnam, an agricultural country, is the third largest in Southeast Asia region in terms of biochar potential. Each year, total biomass production from wood industry and crop cultivation is about 118 tons (Table 1), which is the mainly primary source of biochar feedstocks (Stefan Jirka, 2014). In recent years, the awareness about biochar benefits of Vietnamese people is increasing following to a global trend  as more large scale  field studies show the benefits of biochar use. ..."