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Biochar Certification
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Discussions and Social Networking

One of the most exciting things about the topic of biochar is the active community of biochar enthusiasts. People from all over the world participate frequently in biochar discussion lists, social networks, blogs, and host websites. The resources below are those known to IBI--if you are participating in or hosting a discussion/network that is not included, please bring it to our attention to add to this list. Discussion lists not only engage supporters but serve a good role in asking/answering questions, forming strategies, and getting a better idea of what is happening on the ground.

Discussion Lists

The active discussion list community (currently mainly in English) is through the Yahoo Groups Biochar List (links are below but can also be found on the informative website http://terrapreta.bioenergylists.org/ run by Tom Miles). There are also many LinkedIn discussion groups in the following topics: Biochar Commercialisation; Biochar Offsets (has a number of sub groups); International BioChar and BioCarbon Group; Biochar Farms & Gardens. These require logging in to LinkedIn.

  • Yahoo Groups Biochar List: This is the best list for both general topics and beginners. It is dedicated to introducing the emerging, exciting new climate-energy-soils technology called "Biochar" to those who are new to the concept. This is where the list started, and folks with more experience with the biochar topic can help answer questions and help direct people to the appropriate specialized list for more detailed answers to their questions. More specialized discussion, in the areas of soils, production research and policy issues are encouraged in their group forums.
  • Yahoo Groups Biochar Production List: This is the home for discussion devoted to turning any form of biomass into char for the purpose of making biochar. This is the place to use words like "pyrolysis", "gasification", and "hydrothermal carbonization" ("HTC"). This list will also be the pre-dominant location of terms such as "energy", "biofuels", and "hybrid systems". This list encompasses all possible scales of production (from those that exist today for industrial-scale biofuel production involving biomass transport over tens of kilometers, to the smallest possible char-making cooking and heating stoves). Discussion of char-making that is polluting (venting) will generally be discouraged, if flaring is at all possible. The list encourages discussion about all possible geographic areas - and all possible biomass feedstocks, except those that would result in the destruction of primary forests.
  • Yahoo Groups Biochar in Soils List: This is the home for discussion devoted to technical issues concerning biochar use in soil. This will be the place to use words such as "productivity improvement", "tonnes per hectare", and "char placement depth (or technology)". This list will also be the pre-dominant location of terms such as "CEC (cation exchange capacity)", "pH", "optimum char size", etc. This list will encompass all possible scales of use in soil (from a single backyard pot up to the largest possible farm or plantation.) The list will encourage discussion of all possible geographic areas - and all possible forms of soils or new green growth - from backyards to algae farms to forests to feed-lots, etc. Discussion of biochar use that can create new forests will be encouraged.
  • Yahoo Groups Biochar Policy List: This is the home for discussion devoted to regulatory, economic and social factors that are integral to biochar production and use. This will be the place to use words such as "carbon offsets", "renewable energy credits", "de-forestation", "indigenous land rights", "sustainability", and "return on investment". This list will encompass all possible geographic areas and political divisions from communities and villages to nation states and international agreements. Finance, development, biodiversity and employment are all issues that may impact or be impacted by biochar production and use. This is the place to discuss those issues. We anticipate this website to be active in developing future certification standards for Biochar.
  • Yahoo Groups Biochar Remediation List: This is the home for discussion devoted to technical issues concerning biochar use as a soil and environmental remediation technology. This will be the place where words such as "runoff", "leaching", "decontamination" and "biostimulation" will be used. This list will also be the pre-dominant location of terms such as "phytoremediation", "pollutants", "contamination", "surface water", "groundwater" and "aqifers" etc. This list will encompass all possible scales of use in soil or on its own as a remediation agent or technology. The list will encourage discussion of all possible geographic areas - and all possible forms of remediation techologies that might use or benefit from biochar. Discussion of biochar for use in phytoremediation/bioremediation will be encouraged.