More than 120 participants coming from universities, institutes and industries of China, the US, Australia, the UK, Denmark, Japan and New Zealand participated in a recent International Symposium on Biochar Research in Nanjing China October 10 – 12, 2011. Under the leadership of the Symposium chairman Jianmin Zhou, deputy chairman Renfang Shen, Yunhan Xiao, Jiqiang Zhang and Jiaman Jin, and under the financial support of the Natural Science Foundation of China, the State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture and the Blue Moon Fund USA, the International Symposium was a success. The Symposium was co-organized by the State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Jiangsu Biochar Engineering Center, the Institute of Soil Science and the Research Center of Clean Energy and Power and chaired by Symposium general secretary Zubin Xie.
Under the authorization of the general director Renfang Shen of the Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, the head of the Department of Science and Technology, Zhongpei Li, gave a speech at the Symposium to warmly express a welcome to all the participants and give his congratulations on the opening of the Symposium. Participants gave reports on biochar research, development and application in the areas of soil science, agronomy, energy science and biochar production techniques, and interacted actively with each other. Highlights were reports on the progress of biochar impacts on soil productivity enhancement, greenhouse gas emissions, soil carbon turnover, water pollution treatment, heavy metal remediation, organic pollutant degradation, and cleanup of non-point pollution. Participants repeatedly stressed the importance of land remediation for China, a country that is challenged to feed 20% of the world’s people with only 7% of the world’s arable land. The Symposium also discussed the IBI draft Guidelines for the Specifications of Biochars, following a presentation by IBI’s Project Development Director, Kelpie Wilson.
On the second day of the conference, participants visited the field plot experimental site of the Institute of Soil Science in Jiangdu City, and saw the biochar production facility there. Returning to Nanjing, participants visited the State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture and toured the Soil Museum that contains samples of nearly every soil type in China, along with many colorful and informative displays.
On the final, 3rd day of the Symposium, participants put forward existing problems and challenges and identified further research directions. IBI will post the Symposium presentations below as they become available.