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Biochar’s carbon camp in Byron - ByronShireEcho - Victoria Cosford

26-Apr-2011

Biochar’s carbon camp in Byron Biochar could help to reduce carbon emissions – but how many people know what it is? A five-day workshop at Ewingsdale intends to address this.

Biochar is similar to charcoal, which is the end-product of heated biological material. When added to soil, the result is called biochar, which has proven to amend soil and improve crop yields.

It has been attracting growing interest due to its potential in carbon sequestration, and the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, the Hon Greg Combet, recently announced a range of funding initiatives for it aimed at furthering research in the area.

This follows on from the announcement by the Australian Federal Government that it will invest $2 million in a Biochar Capacity Building Project which will seek to provide farmers and land managers with a greater understanding of the benefits of biochar and its potential applications.

To be held at Eagle Farm from April 30, the education camp has attracted expert teachers from the US Biomass Energy Foundation, Dr Hugh McLaughlin and Dr Paul Anderson. Over the five days there will be hands-on making and using biochar kilns and gasification stoves for small and medium scale use at home and on the farm, with participants learning about principles and practices. The open day will include a biochar demonstration utilising a mobile production unit developed by Eagle Farm owner Dieter Horstmann.

A CSIRO report released last month found that there was a global potential for one billion tonnes of carbon a year to be sequestered using biochar within 30 years.

For workshop bookings and more information he can be contacted on 6679 5259 or 8005 0514. Gardeners, farmers and anyone concerned about the environment are urged to attend this event. The event is sponsored by Byron New Energy, a not-for-profit research group pursuing alternative and renewable energy sources.

Dr Paul Taylor’s book, The Biochar Revolution is available at his website www. Biochar-books.Com.