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Bulletin Board

The IBI encourages its membership to share experiences and ideas through this website. The entries below are from members wishing to share their projects, research, or announcements. Please contact them directly to connect or if you are interested in contributing to the discussion. To submit information for posting, please email Brian Schorr. Your contact information will be posted with your project write up so that other members can contact you directly by clicking a link.

Please do not send advertisements for products or use member's contact information for unsolicited emails.

Looking for a Job in Biochar?

March 2015: Looking for Assitance Writing Policy Letters of Support for Biochar in the United States

My name is Ryan Hammond. I'm an artist from Baltimore MD, USA working on designing a series of Biochar workshops to be presented at local sustainability festivals.
I'm going to be using a series of infographics and activities to teach participants about biochar. I'm also planning on having a letter writing booth, where participants can choose to either sign a pre-written letter to local politicians, or write their own letter asking politicians to support biochar positive legislation.

I've never written a letter like this - and also am not aware of any specific legislation to reference that could help promote biochar use and production. My immediate thought is that subsidies should be proposed, but I don't have enough knowledge about this. If anyone knows of specific bills or ways to ask local politicians to be supportive of biochar use I would greatly appreciate your feedback! If anyone has example letters to politicians asking them to support biochar research and usage that they could send to me that would be really helpful as well. Thanks so much - Ryan Hammond -; website

January 2015: PhD Student looking for 6 - 8 Month Sabbatical Host

Hamed Fathi is a Ph.D. student in Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (Iran), working on a thesis entited The Effect of sewage sledge and their bio-char as mulch and top-soil incorporated on some soil attributes, lead adsorption and desorption Isotherms potassium uptake and plant(soybean) growth in a loss soil with high specific surface area in a temperate climate. He is looking for a 6 - 8 month sabbatical host at an institute starting September 2015 (he has funding for this research). To read more, see a C.V., or contact Mr. Fathi, please click here.

Says Mr. Fathi "This research is a bi-annual field experiment for growing soybean with bio-char treatments from sewage sludge sources as mulching and soil incorporated which were combined with nitrogen and potassium fertilizers at various rates. The first year experiment was already carried out with promising results manifested in greater soybean production.  Sewage sludge is a source of pathogens if it is used for agricultural purposes without proper treatments.  I addition to carbon sequestration benefits, bio-char produced at high temperatures destroys pathogens. Charcoal wells are widespread throughout many countries in Middle East (Like Iran) which can be used for bio-char production without modifications.  Same plots are used for soybean production in second year."

December 2014: Looking for a Paid Internship Opportunity

Mr Saha Bir Rai is a final year student at the Environmental Campus, Birkenfeld (IfaS) Germany studying for a Master of Engineering in International Material Flow Management, a German-Japanese double degree program. He is looking for an internship related to Biochar technology. Please review his CV here.

March 2014: Looking for Interest in Biochar Production in Ireland

I am currently trying to put together a proposal for a Bio-char production facility using one of my own manufactured kilns. I am also allocating a portion of time per annum to allow for persons to use the facility for their own research. There are the beginnings of constructive dialogue between myself and the agricultural body in Ireland, they are known as teagasc. I would be interested if anyone has any interest in this project, please feel free to visit my website or contact me, Ryan Seymour, at

January 2014: Three Dimensional Timberlands has Biochar Equipment for Sale

Commercial Scale Biomass Pyrolysis Equipment Package Available For Sale at:

September 2013: Philippine Biochar Association looking for collaboration for mineland reclamation

We, from the Philippine Biochar Association are looking to explore the use of biochar to rehabilitate mined out areas. The Philippines has seen an increase in mining activity in the past decades and this has left vast areas of land bare and highly acidic to the point that it could no longer sustain plant life. If these mined out areas are not rehabilitated, there will be a high probability that pollutants will continue to spread due to soil erosion contaminating waterways and eventually the whole landscape. We would like to collaborate with a company or individual with experience and technical expertise on the rehabilitation of mined out or deforested areas.

Please email us at with attn: James Burke Ong.

August 2013: Chemistry question on producing biochar

Materials can be charred by exothermic reaction with strong acids and bases. The results may result in NPK available to plants. Potassium hydroxide, phosphoric acid or nitric acid could be used. Research into this possibility for biochar has not been done according to my search of the literature. Experimentation could be dangerous. The possibility to produce biochar with a fertilizer or chemical manufacturing plant partner has possible advantages. Changes in storage and shipping, combining organic matter and fertilizer before tillage does so, and the product is not (as?) dangerous in the hands of people making drugs or explosives.

Please consider contacting chemists and others to reseach/determine the cost, efficiency of resources used and other ideas that follow. Contact:

July 2013: Could you use a volunteer in biochar?

My name is Mattias Gustafsson and I am working as a Project Manager at a municipal company in Sweden. My primary work is in biogas but my true interest is in biochar. Parallel to my work I have taken a Master's Degree in Energy Engineering and my thesis Pyrolysis for heat production – comparing with pellet and woodchip combustion will be done this August. Now I would like to learn more about biochar and pyrolysis in practical applications and that is why I’m looking for company or organization interested in taking me in during 2-3 weeks this autumn. I will pay my own expenses and my focus is just to deepen my knowledge in the wonderful world of biochar.  

My interest in biochar lies especially in:

  • Biochar production
  • Biochar as a soil improver or animal feed
  • Biochar as filter material, substitute for active coal

So if you need a hand this autumn please contact me at or 0046-76 789 2930

April 2012: Looking to Discuss the Carbon Maintenance Fee

Among its other advantages, it seems that sequestering carbon in the soil is a very valuable way of halting Global Warming. Unfortunately it is nearly impossible to measure the increase in soil carbon on an individual basis. I understand from reading "The Biochar Debate" by James Bruges, that a method of measuring the total carbon in a given area of the biosphere by satellite has been developed and "Feasta" in Ireland has come up with the idea of a Carbon Maintenance Fee so that Governments could be rewarded for increasing soil carbon and penalized for decreasing it in their country.

Does anyone know any more about this idea, if so I should like to know about it. Please contact me, Michael Gill, at

December 2011: Looking for Partner in a Research Grant Proposal

Dr. Willis Gwenzi is currently developing a research grant proposal for submission to the International Foundation for Science (IFS) on biochar research. The total maximum amount per grant is US$12,000 and the grant can be renewed twice.

The proposed project is entitled, ‘Harnessing Biochar to Enhance Soil fertility, Crop productivity and Environmental Quality in Smallholder Cropping Systems in Zimbabwe’. The proposed study will use a combination of column experiments, plant bioassays, and glasshouse and field experiments 
to address the following objectives:

  1. To quantify the effects of short-term biochar application on soil chemical and hydraulic properties,
  2. To quantify the effect of biochar on nutrient and contaminant transport and retention in sandy,
  3. To investigate the effects of biochar application on plant nutrient uptake, seed germination, crop growth and crop productivity, and
  4. To investigate the response of microbial activity, microbial C and N and soil respiration to biochar application.

IFS recommends that grant applicants establish collaborative linkages with other researchers working on the subject. I am hereby looking for anyone interested to collaborate with me on this project. Should anyone be interested I can e-mail him/her the research synopsis and my CV outline my academic and research background.

If you are interested in partnering, please contact Dr. Willis Gwenzi

September 2011: PhD Student Looking for Placement in Carbon Sequestration Biochar Research

I am a PhD student at the Unversity of Leeds Doctoral Training Centre in Low Carbon Technologies. My research involves modelling the potential for carbon sequestration through biochar use. I am looking to do a 3/4 week placement relating to biochar research (possibly field trial research but generally within the biochar research field). The placement is fully funded by my university. Please contact Jayne Windeatt.

June 2011: Looking for Partners for Kenaf Plant Concrete

kenaf I am an inventor of a concrete that uses a plant called kenaf to make insulating aggregates for use in biochar stove manufacturing, I am introducing this plant as a biomass feedstock and makes great biochar. Also the seeds and leaves taste good – a concurrent food and biomass crop. I have a mobile biochar wagon designed and I am looking for partners.
For more information please contact Bill Loftus

The image showcases a cook stove made with kenaf (and being loaded with kenaf).

April 2011: Looking to Purchase Switchgrass Biochar in the US

Researcher at Penn State University (United States) is in need of 2000 pounds of switchgrass biochar for a large experiment. If you have this product, please email Roger Koide.  

March 2011: Seeking a Technology Provider to Pyrolyze MSW in Sri Lanka

Our plan is to carbonize community refuse (MSW) in the absence of oxygen with controlled conditions. Recover the pyrolysis gas and burn it in an external chamber to produce thermal power. This thermal energy is to continue the carbonizing process and partially we need to employ an ORC module to generate electricity. We are seeking a potential technical provider to set up a continuous MSW carbonizing reactor. Bio coal from MSW is a recovered resource and can be used as a energy resource or a good soil enhancer. Currently we are dumping these waste materials on land filling sites and it caused to pollute ground water and emits methane gases with green house effect.

If you have recommendations or technology, please contact Gopathi Balachandra, Exotherm International Energy Solutions Ltd., Narammala,60100, Sri Lanka. Cell 0094 7243 98129; Skype gopathi4510

October 2010: Biochar in Tahiti?  Looking for groups interested in biochar demonstration workshop

I'm looking for interested groups in Tahiti for an exchange and possible biochar demonstration workshop, I have a prototype of the new Seachar flatpack stove that I could take and demo also I would like to find a host for a kiln building workshop. If anyone from French Polynesia/Tahiti has  any interest in collaboration networking, please email me.

Don Hennick

September 2010: Biochar in South Florida or Southeast Region

As a new member, I am interested to reach out to fellow biochar enthusiasts in South Florida. If there are no current projects, would anyone else be interested to get a Southeast Region project off the ground for sustainable business and community involvement? Looking to source biochar providers. Florida would make a great test site. Please contact me at

March 2010: Request for Reports of Plant Response to Biochar

Dear IBI Community: As part of my graduate research at the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley, I am conducting a meta-analysis of plant response to biochar in soil – whether via purposeful amendment or via other processes. My motivation is to advance understanding about the conditions under which biochar addition may lead to more biomass production. To ensure that my study is as complete as possible, I would appreciate if you could alert me to any studies of of yours or your colleagues that I might not have found by Google Scholar or ISI, such as reports, other gray literature, or papers in press. While I am primarily focusing on peer-reviewed literature, other literature with experimental results would be very welcome. I would be grateful if you could respond by the 15th of April, 2010, so that I can incorporate your input into the analysis. If you have reports/results to share, please email me. Many thanks, Andrew

January 2010: Looking for a Source of Biochar in Wisconsin/Michigan United States

Kevin McDonough is hoping to find someone that is selling biochar eventually in Michigan or northern Wisconsin.  Also, a source of a reasonably priced retort is of interest as well.

Please respond to Kevin directly

October 2009: Looking for Offers to Build a Fast Pyrolysis Plant in Eastern Germany

From: Graf zu Muenster, Germany: I am interested in obtaining offers to build a series of fast pyrolysis plants producing bio-char as well as bio-oil in eastern Germany. The plant size should be up to 100 met tons/day. As an alternative to a direct offer, a joint venture could also be possible. Please note that in addition to this request, I am also interested in mobile units, should there be any available.

Please respond to Graf zu Muenster

August 2009: Climate Ride NY to DC--Opportunity for US Individuals to Contact Congressional Members/Staff

I'm Jerry Scharf and I am doing the climate ride next month. The ride ends up in D.C. with some meetings with congressional staff. After the Boulder conference, I thought this would be a great opportunity to try and help the biochar cause along. I am offering to deliver in person letters from you to your congress members (staff.) What I am asking that the letters be kept to a reasonable length. If they get too long (beyond 2 pages) I won't accept it because it will be too much for me. With a good response, I am going to have thousands of letters to deliver (3 per submitted letter.) I hope this will be in time to get to the senators as the two biochar related bills that Debbie mentioned are out there.

Remember to indicate your representative and put your name, city and state at the bottom. If you want to go out and get neighbors to add their names to the letter, all the better. Remember that this is less about educating than proving there are some voters that care. The impact of delivering these by hand is that they came from voters. I have created a special mailbox for this, please send letters to

If you are interested in the climate ride, check out (you can also donate to my fundraising for the ride).

I will be bringing one of Nathaniel Mulcahy's backpacking biochar stoves along on the ride and talking about biochar with anyone who will let me bend their ear.


August 2009: SeaChar Initiative for Biochar in Central America

For those of you who don't know, SeaChar, or the Seattle Biochar Working Group, is a recently established not-for-profit. Among other projects, we have begun a partnership with Agros International to bring biochar into their Central American communities as part of an integrated development package. In early August Scott Eaton of SeaChar took a portable stove to Nicaragua.  Click here to read more about this project with updates and photos.

May 2009: Looking for Biochar in Singapore

I live in Singapore (70miles north of the equator) and miss my old temperate vegetables.  Recently a friend who is a botany phd from NUS told me he had heard that there is a researcher in Singapore growing strawberries using Biochar, and someone in Malaysia growing apples using Biochar.  He even said he'd heard of a company somewhere in Singapore that will sell Biochar.  If you have any information, please contact me. 
Michael Slater (  phone  +65 9620 2930)

March 2009: Looking for Biochar in Maine, US

Researchers in Maine have recently received the good news that they were awarded a small grant from the USDA – farmer grants program to conduct some basic research on biochar, its effects on the growth of different crops and on soil fertility.  They want to compare two different application rates, with a control plot alongside with no biochar. Soil tests will be taken before and after, and the crop of soybeans and corn weighed and brixed. Now unfortunately, they are finding that it has become a challenge to get enough material for their test plots. The project site is located in mid-coastal Maine.  They need 2000lb of granulated char, and would need it by the end of May. As far as its preferred qualities, they are looking for product from a relatively slow pyrolysis process (retains some of the bio-oil) that has a low volatile matter content and with minimum ash. Any help in located a good source of biochar would be appreciated.

Ron Poitras

March 2009: Biochar in Central Park, NYC?

We were wondering if anybody associated with the Central Park Conservancy, or any of the NYC parks organizations has considered an "urban biochar" project or pilot.  If not, would anybody in the biochar community like to help get something started?  We're willing to see if we can make the connections and move things along.  Please respond to John Reaves at:

March 2009: 2 Questions on Biochar--Nutrient Release and Using Green Waste as a Feedstock

#1: I am looking for any studies on the capabilities of biochar as method of extending the release of nutrients from manure or other fast acting ferts by adding biochar to a rich slurry before spreading.  Basically a cheap home made time release with long term benefit?

#2: I am interested in setting up a green waste disposal site for my county in which garden waste, kitchen scraps, manure, and possibly animal carcasses (hunting,etc) would be sterilized through pyrolysis to produce biochar and hopefully electricity (sterling engine?) and/or other usable energy sources, is anyone doing this who is willing to share information?
Please respond to Sy Shelton at:

March 2009: Biochar for Forestry Conservation in Western US

I am looking at biochar and its application to conservation. I work for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and am developing landscape scale conservation projects in Southeastern Oregon and SW Idaho. The principal issue is invasive plants specifically juniper encroachment which is spreading across the west at an accelerating rate. Current management practices center around burning and or producing bioenergy related products. We are launching stewardship contracts with Federal and state agencies and private landowners. There may be a significant opportunity to use biochar as a option in this conservation work. Please forward information to the address below.
Dave Torell, Land Program Manager

March 2009: Biochar in South Africa

Looking to connect with  members, organisations, research or initiatives with biochar currently in South Africa.  I am conceptualizing socio-economic and environmental projects on behalf of a mining company, and would like to investigate the possibility of implementing some projects involving Biochar.
Klaus Piprek at

February 2009: Introducing 'African Journal of Food Science (AJFS)'

The African Journal of Food Science (AJFS) provides rapid publication (monthly) of articles in all areas of Food Science. The Journal welcomes the submission of manuscripts that meet the general criteria of significance and scientific excellence. Papers will be published approximately one month after acceptance. All articles are peer-reviewed.  The following types of papers are considered for publication:

Original articles in basic and applied research.
Critical reviews, surveys, opinions, commentaries and essays.
Our objective is to inform authors of the decision on their manuscript(s) within four weeks of submission. Following acceptance, a paper will normally be published in the next issue.  Instruction for authors and other details are available on our website Prospective authors should send their manuscript(s) to,

February 2009: Opportunity to Join Discussion List "Biochar Projects in Developing Countries"

After the Newcastle IBI conference, there was a strong desire from the participants to continue the discussions that were started there. IBI has decided that it does not have the staff to manage such an effort, but does want to encourage further discussion in the community. To that end, people have volunteered to set up some specific discussion email lists that are not directly related to IBI.

The first group to be set up is one to discuss "Biochar Projects in Developing Countries." This is a list that belongs to the community, but there are some specific ideas that we want to base these lists around. There are already several excellent general discussion biochar lists. The new lists are designed to have less traffic and more focus. While there will clearly be discussions of feedstock and equipment, these should remain related to specific projects. We want to keep the traffic to a manageable level. If there is sufficient discussion on a specific area, the community might consider making another list for those discussions.

The list is open to all but you must subscribe before posting. The mailing list is  To subscribe, send mail to with the body of the message containing the single word subscribe. You will receive a return email to confirm your subscription. Once that is done, you will receive a welcome email and you are ready to go. You can also subscribe by going to and filling out the web form. This is also where the list archives are found.

We are also working on a wiki to be attached to the mailing list. This will provide a better mechanism for posting pictures and other larger information.

Jerry Scharf
GreenPyro   Pioneering Carbon Negative, Sustainable Electricity

Jan 2009: Research PhD Opportunity in Italy

Giorgio Alberti from the University of Udine, Italy:  We are preparing a national research project proposal (FIRB) on the use of biochar in agriculture (we are interested in production aspects, characterization, physical and chemical properties, stability, influence on soil properties, microbes and plant production, soil CO2 and N2O fluxes).

The research proposal has to be submitted to the Italian Ministry for Research and is reserved for a young PhD (less than 32 years old) who, in case of success, will have a contract as young scientist for three years with all related benefits.  We are seeking a high motiveted Phd less than 32 years old to be in charge of one of the reserach units (the others are already covered), with EU nationality, who would like to work on this topic (in particular we need for someone that would consider the characterization aspects or the influence on soil properties) and who may be available to work in Firenze at the CNR-Ibimet (dr Franco Miglietta) for 3 years if the project is granted.

He/she will involved in all the steps of the project proposal preparation. The deadline for the proposal submission is February 27, 2009, thus the deadline to contact me is ASAP or not later than February 10, 2009.
Any potential candidate may contact me directly by email

Jan 2009: Request for Biochar Donation for High School Trials

Trying to educate my students about BioChar. I want THEM to run an experiment using BioCHar in soil used to grow strawberries. Results will be in "Mass of strawberries" grown in topsoil with biochar compared to "Mass of strawberries" grown in topsoil.  How may I get a small amount of biochar for this research? I would love to make public our research.

David Snyder
Seton Hall Prep School
West Orange, NJ

Jan 2009: Call for Ideas: Biochar and Olive Production

Olive trees residues originating from pruning are a problem in the large plantations of Southern Italy and, I guess, in other Mediterranean countries. Farmers are no longer allowed to burn those residues and incorporation into soils is expensive and not really rewarding. ITABI, the Italian Biochar Initiative, is considering to approach this issue, starting new research on the beneficial effects of biochar on yields and quality.

This message is an informal and preliminary "Call for Ideas" to the biochar community. ITABI is seeking for suggestions/proposals that may contribute towards the design and subsequent implementation of a sustainable biochar option for olive production areas: in particular we are looking for ideas concerning the most suitable and affordable "residue management and charring system" that can combine together charcoal, energy and/or heat production.  The best ideas will eventually form the "core" of a collaborative proposal to be submitted to different public bodies, for funding.Everybody may send his views, comments, ideas or even commercial quotes to the following address:

ITABI will acknowledge all inputs and will consider carefully confidentiality or non-disclosure requests associated to those input. ITABI Secretariat (Silvia Baronti)

Jan 2009: Looking for a Solar-powered Biochar Maker

I'm looking for a solar powered biochar maker; an oven /kiln for individual backyard use.  If such a 'device' does not exist I'd be happy to hear suggestions of people/groups/companies who might be interested in developing one.

Please contact Richard Winkler at

Jan 2009: California Energy Commission looking for carbon sequestration biochar research projects in CA

The CEC currently has an initiative to fund projects that research C sequestration in soil as a potential C offset to be purchased by electrical utilities under new climate change regulations that cap emissions.  We are specifically interested in a research project that would give a full accounting of GHG emissions (N2O, CH4) from California soils with biochar amendments, versus those with no amendments.

Any public or private entity that is doing research on biochar amendments in California soils can contact Sarah Pittiglio at

Announcing Project Rainbow Bee Eater, Australia

Project Rainbow Bee Eater, a consortium of farmers, scientists and engineers has claimed the Australian Government’s White Paper which provides the policy framework for the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme has not recognized the potential for rapid, very large scale and permanent bio-sequestration of inorganic carbon by excluding biochar. Press Release--Project Rainbow Bee Eater

Project Opportunity in Portugal: Company Looking for Technology Providers

We are a company working with woody biomass and currently looking to invest in a bio-oil/bio-char project in Portugal. If your company has technology on pyrolysis or other relevant equipment, please feel free to contact us via the following e-mail:

Biochar experiments in Brazil

Respond to:

My name is May Waddington, and I am a PhD anthropologist. I have worked in the Amazon for many years with an indigenous tribe, and in Northeast Brazil with traditional groups such as the babassu women and andiroba women. Over the last 4 years I made a major turn on my life, leaving Rio de Janeiro, purchasing 400 hectares of land in a region which is a mixture of caatinga and cerrado, the Buriti Doce farm. I am employed at a small state college nearby.

I have been running a series of agro-ecological experiments in this land. In preparing to plant 10 hectares of bixa orellana  and pineapple, we tested some slash and burn practices which are considered less harming (queimada de toco vivo). This technique, includes several security measures, selected trees are cut in a way they will re-grow, and the most wood is saved for other uses. We made 20 traditional ovens to produce charcoal in the area, which burned for a week or so (see pictures - the wood is covered in earth with an opening on each end of the caeira).

I would like to volunteer the farm as an experimental area for anyone who may wish to study this production in this climate/soil conditions.

The innovation was accompanied by the IBAMA (National environmental agency) and was used to teach local farmers. It resulted in some 1000 kg of charcoal, which I have been resisting to sell

As you must know, the State of Piauí is pioneering biodiesel production, and there are major plants in the neighbouring states which could also be developed as part of the project.

Although I m new in the region, we could approach the Agronomy department of the Federal university of Piauí to see if we can find a soils specialist to invite

Biochar in Mexico

Respond to Kyle Young at:

I live in Arizona and work in Sonora, Mexico with the Fundacion Apoyo del Infantil (The Save the Children Foundation) on agricultural projects involving bamboo. Iv'e not come across any information regarding the water retaining capacity of biochar. It seems the porosity of biochar would aid in retaining water in the soil for a longer period. Is this true? I'm also interested in using bamboo (the fastest growing woody plant on earth) to make biochar.

My project is to use ancient celtic earthen oven designs that recycle smoke into the combustion chamber for complete combustion (needing no chimney) to create biochar using the direct method. Any thoughts on that? These ovens can be made from local clayish soils by anyone with some rudimentary masonry skills and knowledge of the ovens mathematical configuration.

From Michael Moore looking for others working in Nicaragua and Costa Rica on Biochar

Reply to:

I am working with two small farms in Southeastern Nicaragua, near San Carlos, and the people I work with are increasingly interested in biochar materials and projects. I've been able to do research and collect material resources here in the U.S., and would like to make contact with others working in Nicaragua or Costa Rica. I like very much the Sustainable Harvest International model, further down this IBI Projects page, and will be contacting them, too.

Research-wise, my work involves the social and cultural aspects of these kinds of collaborations, including various forms of action research and collaborative ethnographies. I'm interested in the roles that the social sciences, liberal arts, and humanities disciplines might play in sustainability broadly, and carbon-negative projects such as biochar in particular.