Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Social enterprise in Bali includes biochar

"Believe it or not, cashew shells are an important part of our business. The circular journey of the cashew shells starts at our factory. To power the steaming and drying process of our cashews, we use an innovative gasifier furnace that runs on leftover cashew shells. We then use the resulting biochar as a super carbon-rich fertilizer for our cashew trees and rosella plantations.

Our excess cashew shells we pass on to other small businesses, such as commercial laundries, which use the shells to heat their boilers. While the shells may seem like a simple byproduct with little value compared to the cashews themselves, they’re actually integral to our operations and need to be managed with care.

In 2016, we started to take the “use the whole cashew” idea to the next level. We have ambitious plans to replant Bali’s – and eventually Indonesia’s – cashew trees within the next decade. Part of this plan involves buying old cashew trees from farmers to make space for the new seedlings. We are using the wood chips from these trees to fire our furnaces as well, leaving no part of the cashew – or its tree – unused."

Crop residue burning in Thailand - WarmHeart (part 1of 5)

Dr Michael Shafer's work with biochar from his 'WarmHeart' base in northern Thailand is well reported here (see WarmHeart tag). Michael is kicking off a 5-part report focused on crop residue burning. Below is his announcement on this to the yahoo international biochar discussion group. It is a highly relevant read for those of us interested in solving regional haze issues.
Aug 21 3:04 AM
"I live in North Thailand where smoke from burning  corn and rice fields blocks the sun a couple of months a year. Burning wheat straw smoke closes Delhi every year, too.

Because most of the farmers who burn are poor and small, collecting their crop waste for central processing is uneconomical and their fields are too small, too steep, too rocky to plow, even if they could afford a tractor.

They are so poor, however, that converting their crop waste to biochar makes lots of sense. Establishing village-scale social enterprises to process local biochar into value added products is also not only appealing to farmers but a replicable way to solve the crop waste burning problem where it starts - in small farmers' fields.

This is the first of a five part series in which I make the case for a small-scale biochar social enterprise business model for addressing the problem. The remaining four will appear over the next few weeks.

I would welcome any comments, suggestions, corrections or criticisms."

Dr. D. Michael Shafer
Founder and Director, Warm Heart
61 M.8 T.Maepang A.Phrao 50190 Chiang Mai Thailand