Sunday, 11 September 2016

BIORICHAR - new product release from Malaysia

Theeba Manickam has been leading biochar research at MARDI for a number of years. It is great to see some commercial progress in Malaysia.

(not sure how to edit the video HTML to smaller screen size... try right click and 'full screen' to view)

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Biochar technology for mine rehab - Philippines

"Nickel mining companies Marcventures Mining and Development Corp. (MMDC) and Benguetcorp Nickel Mines Inc. (BNMI) have been given the green light by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to engage in a mine rehabilitation project using activated biochar technology. According to Marcventures vice chairman Isidro “Butch” Alcantara, the project is not only in compliance with the new policy direction of the DENR to rehabilitate mined-out areas, but also complements the Surigao nickel miner’s initiatives in providing sustainable, organic and environmentally enhancing livelihood activities." ...

Monday, 29 August 2016

Asia-Pacific Biochar Conference, Korea 19-23Oct

Date: 29 August 2016 at 15:57
Subject: 3rd Asia Pacific Biochar Conference (APBC 2016) Korea, October 19-23, 2016
To: 옥용식
Cc: Yong Sik Ok

Dear Colleagues,

The 3rd Asia Pacific Biochar Conference entitled “A Shifting Paradigm towards Advanced Materials and Energy/Environment Research” will be held in Cuncheon, Korea on October 19-23, 2016.

You can visit the APBC 2016 website ( for more information.

Please kindly share this announcement with your colleagues. We are looking forward to seeing you all at the APBC 2016, Korea!

Thank you very much.

On behalf of

Conference Chairman
Yong Sik Ok, PhD, Full Professor, Director
Honorable Ambassador of Gangwon Province
Korea Biochar Research Center
Kangwon National University, Korea

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Kontiki biochar production in Vietnam

My thanks to Prof. Stephen Joseph for the following...

Biochar use for climate-change mitigation in rice cropping systems (Vietnam)

My thanks to Prof. Stephen Joseph who has sent me the following publication. Please let me know if you would like me to forward a copy to you...

Biochar use for climate-change mitigation in rice cropping systems


This study estimated the climate change effects of alternative rice production systems in North Vietnam with different residue management options, using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The traditional practice of open burning of residues (System A) was compared with the alternative of converting residues to biochar, which was returned to the same land area from which the residues were obtained (System B). Pyrolytic cook-stoves and drum ovens were assumed to be used by households to produce biochar, and the cook-stoves produced heat energy for cooking. The annual rate of biochar applied was determined by the amount of biochar produced from the straw and husk available. We assumed that agronomic effects of biochar increased with each annual biochar application until reaching maximum benefits at 18 Mg ha 1 , which takes eight years to be produced in pyrolytic cook-stoves and drum ovens. The largest contributor to the carbon footprint of rice at the mill gate, was CH4 emissions from soil, in both systems. Biochar addition reduced the carbon footprint of spring rice and summer rice by 26% and 14% respectively, compared with System A, in the first year of application. These values substantially increased to 49% and 38% after eight years of biochar addition. The climate effect of System B was most sensitive to the assumed suppression of soil CH4 emissions due to biochar application.

 Ali Mohammadi a, * , Annette Cowie a, b , Thi Lan Anh Mai c , Ruy Anaya de la Rosa a , Paul Kristiansen a , Miguel Brandao~ d , Stephen Joseph a, e, f

a School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia 
b NSW Department of Primary Industries, Beef Industry Centre, Trevenna Rd., Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia 
c Thai Nguyen University of Sciences, Thai Nguyen University, Thai Nguyen Province, Viet Nam 
d Division of Industrial Ecology, Department of Sustainable Development, Environmental Science and Engineering (SEED), School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), KTH - Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden 
e Discipline of Chemistry, University of Newcastle, Callaghan NSW 2308, Australia 
f School of Materials Science and Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia

Thursday, 16 June 2016

More from Dr Paul Olivier in Vietnam

Transforming Biodegradable Waste, Integrating Plant and Animal Systems, Deindustrializing Agriculture, Reducing Carbon Emissions, Sequestering Carbon, Decommodifying Food and Restoring Biodiversity

By Dr. Paul Olivier, Dr. Nguyen Van Ket and Todd Hyman 
                  June 7, 2016                                       

This essay has seven major themes, as its title indicates. Small farmers transform biodegradable waste at the highest possible level, they closely integrate plant and animal systems, and they deindustrialize the production of food. These three strategies allow them to play a major role in reducing carbon emissions and in sequestering carbon. Furthermore, small farmers participate in co-ops that share and integrate waste resources and waste technologies. These co-ops also provide education and training, and they take care of all aspects of selling to consumers. With all of these elements in place, small farmers are then able to de-commodify the sale of food. Food is not just another commodity to be traded in the global marketplace. The market value of food should never be allowed to override broader issues relating to food safety, food security, the health of the environment and the biodiversity of our planet.

Biochar is a frequent subject throughout this report.

100 Projects for the Climate

This French initiative is helping support a number of biochar related projects. Three projects in the SEA region are revealed from a search on 'biochar' (nine in total)...

Philippines: cook stoves

Vietnam: gasifier technology

Philippines: Project Eden

They can all benefit from your votes...

Friday, 20 May 2016

Permaculture Research Institute - biochar

Tropical Orchard Establishment Practices and Concepts: Part 2 of 3

Biochar Production

We make a small amount of biochar yearly to be used in our nursery potting soil and applied to our garden beds. Biochar has been studied extensively over the past 25 years and has proven to be an effective soil fertility strategy, in particular in the tropics. We use two different biochar systems. The first is a cook stove called an Estufa Finca. This was developed by our friend Art Donnelly of The second is a larger retort kiln called a TLUD (Top-Lit Up-Draft) made of two 55 gallon metal drums.
Biochar is a fascinating soil amendment that inspires much disagreement and conversation. For us, we are mostly interested in leveraging the unique physical and chemical properties of biochar to reduce leaching of nutrients, improve soil structure, buffer our pH, and provide host sites for microorganisms. Biochar in general has a negative molecular charge which binds well to nutrients and it’s physical structure provides endless nooks and crannies for a diversity of microbial life to seek shelter from predators.
We primary use fruit tree and bamboo prunings for our biochar feed stock. We avoid nitrogen rich feed stock as this nitrogen volatilizes during the combustion process. After a burn, which can be seen in the following photos, the biochar is crushed and then charged. As the burn process removes most nutrients from the remaining carbon, it is most effective to soak the biochar in a nitrogen rich liquid. Typically we use effluent from our methane biodigestors.
An Estufa Finca cook stove is stocked and started. This highly efficient stove boils a gallon of water in under 10 minutes and produces biochar as a bi-product.
An Estufa Finca cook stove is stocked and started. This highly efficient stove boils a gallon of water in under 10 minutes and produces biochar as a bi-product.
Turmeric is being processed on the stove to make a live-cultured soda and obtain a dried spice.
Turmeric is being processed on the stove to make a live-cultured soda and obtain a dried spice.
As the stove dies down, the combustion is stopped by dumping the contents into a quench bucket.
As the stove dies down, the combustion is stopped by dumping the contents into a quench bucket.
The biochar is then incorporated into our potting mix or worked into resting garden beds. Occasionally we apply this amendment directly to tree planting holes, in which case we apply ½ kilo per tree hole and top dress under the mulch another ½ kilo.
Overall biochar does not make up a huge part of our day-to-day work. I find it challenging to find the time and physical space for all the necessary harvesting, handling, and drying of feedstock. This year we will make 60 to 120 kilos of biochar for our gardens.