Chinese Delegation to Present at US Biochar Conference

Rohnert Park, California – The US Biochar Conference, to be held July 29 – August 1 at Sonoma State University, in Rohnert Park, California, has announced that a delegation of Chinese scientists will offer a session at the conference. The session, with presentations ranging from innovative methods for pyrolysis technology used to create biochar to the implications of biochar on sustainable agricultural practices in China, lends a truly global perspective to this year’s conference.

"We're excited to host this distinguished group from China, rounding out a three-day program on the science and industry of biochar, and featuring 100 presenters from across the USA and 14 other countries," said Oren Wool, 2012 US Biochar Conference organizer.

The Chinese delegation session includes papers:

• focused on experience with mobile fluidized bed fast pyrolysis technology, along with pre-drying of feedstocks to about 100 degrees C. Trials have been conducted at feed rates of one-half-ton/hour;

• exploring national plans to use various agricultural residues as fertilizer, feed, fuel, industrial raw materials, and growth media;

• looking at using biochar to achieve sustainable agricultural production. To date, Chinese researchers have used a small-scale cost-effective carbonization device to achieve carbonization in situ, reducing transport costs by 70%. The paper presents results from applying biochar to crop production in Liaoning province over several years, with noticeable effects on crop production promotion and reductions in harmful dust and labor input; and

• summarizing lessons learned over two years on commercialization of biochar-based fertilizer production (capacity 10,000 tons per year) in Zhejiang province where several long-term field experimental sites were set up to test the agricultural response of plants to different doses and types of biochar, and to determine the potential revenues that can be generated from the sale of biochar as a soil amendment.

Field experiments in China have shown that long-term biochar application has many benefits (preservation of soil nutrients, improvement of soil structure). The delegation believes that to popularize use of biochar in the market, it is imperative to find ways to reduce costs at the initial stage while educating people on the long-term value of applying biochar. 

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