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2008 Conference Agenda and Presentations

Click on any of the highlighted text below to link to presentations.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

5:00 pm – 10:00 pm:   NEWCASTLE CIVIC CENTRE
                                    Conference Registration and Materials Distribution

6:00 pm – 10:00 pm:   NEWCASTLE CIVIC CENTRE
                                    Welcome Reception for Conference Participants (Buffet and bar)

Monday, September 8, 2008: Conference Day 1

9:00 am – 9:20 am: Welcome to Conference, Meeting Overview

  • D.A.C. Manning, University of Newcastle
  • D. Reed, International Biochar Initiative
  • J. Lehmann, Cornell University
  • S. Joseph, University of New South Wales

9:20 am – 9:30 am: Welcome to Newcastle University

  • Prof. P. Younger, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Engagement)

9:30 am – 10:00 am: Keynote Address

10:00 am - 10:30 am: Break and networking opportunity

10:30 am – 12:20 pm: Technical Plenary Session 1: Biochar Production

12:20 am – 1:30 pm: Lunch

1:30 pm – 3:20 pm: Technical Plenary Session 2: Biochar Characterisation

3:20 pm – 3:30 pm: Break and networking opportunity

3:30 pm – 7:00 pm: Technical Poster Session

6:30 pm: Poster Award Ceremony

Tuesday, September 9, 2008: Conference Day 2

8:00 am – 9:50 am: Technical Plenary Session 3: Biochar Amendments to Soils

9:50 am – 10:15 am: Break and networking opportunity

10:15 am – 11:45 pm: Technical Plenary Session 4 Carbon Trading, and Policy Issues concerning Biochar

11:45 pm – 12:45 pm: Lunch  

12:45 am – 12:50 pm: Welcome D.A.C. Manning, University of Newcastle

12:50 pm –1:20 pm: Keynote: Urgent actions to include biochar in the "Post 2012" climate change market mechanisms

  • L. Gnacadja, Executive Secretary, message delivered by G. Kopolo, Senior Programme Officer, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

1:20 pm –3:00 pm: The Biochar Future: From Science to Practice

3:00 pm – 3:30 pm: Break and Networking Opportunity

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm: Panel Discussion - The Biochar Future

  • Chair: J. Reynolds, North East Energy Leadership Council
  • Panel:
    T. Flannery, Macquarie University
    T. Spencer
    M. Kibblewhite, Cranfield University

5:30 – 6:30 pm: Public Lecture: T. Flannery, Macquarie University

7:30 – 11:00 pm: Gala Dinner

Wednesday, September 10, 2008: Conference Day 3

9:00 am – 10:30 am: Parallel Discussion Sessions 1 - Policy and Research Priorities                                   

10:30 am – 11:00 am: Break and Networking Opportunity  

11:00 am – 12:00 pm: Report from Sessions and Discussion Chair: D.A.C. Manning, Newcastle University

12:00 pm –1:00 pm: Lunch

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm: Parallel Discussion Sessions 2 - Implementation

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm: Break and Networking Opportunity

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Report from Sessions and Discussion Chair: D.A.C. Manning, Newcastle University

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm: Next Steps for the International Biochar Initiative

  • Chair: D. Reed, International Biochar Initiative

7:30 – 9:30 pm: Dinner and close of meeting

Detailed Descriptions of the Technical Sessions

Technical Session 1: Biochar production
In this session, issues concerning technological aspects of the production of biochar, at all scales (laboratory, pilot plant, full scale plant, developing country systems, shifting cultivation) and including transportation and application were addressed. The performance of different feedstocks, production conditions and their effects on biochar yields, and where appropriate, energy yields, were considered, together with the testing of pyrolysis products and gaseous emissions during production including health issues.

Technical Session 2: Biochar characterization
This session focused on the detailed characterization of biochars to determine their structure and composition with respect to its application as a soil amendment. The discussion focused on the physical, chemical and biological properties of biochar produced under various pyrolysis/carbonization schemes, as well as characterization of the fundamental structure and composition of biochar.

Technical Session 3: Biochar amendments to soils
This session focused on the scientific basis that underpins the use of biochar as a soil amendment. It presented the results of studies concerning the agronomic benefits of biochar application to soils, plants and microorganisms, work on scientific aspects of the environmental impact of biochar and its stability, and research on changes of biochar in soil including movement by leaching and erosion.

Technical Session 4: Carbon trading, commercialisation, and policy issues concerning biochar
Discussion focused on the big picture issues that surround biochar. This session covered the issues relating to the commercialisation of the technology and sale of biochar, carbon accounting in systems that generate biochar, subsidies, the economics and energy budgets of pyrolysis systems that are integrated with other on-farm, civic or waste management activities, as well as certification and approval by environmental protection agencies. Additionally, this addressed the global contribution that biochar use might have on carbon emissions and atmospheric composition, and how this feeds into policy issues at local, regional, national and international levels.