Biochar in Emerging and Developing Countries
The development of biochar systems around the world can be at vastly different scales and uses depending on the feedstock, expected use for the biochar, production technology, local economics, setting. Much of the developing economy country-specific biochar work that IBI is tracking are at the micro scale (biochar cookstoves) to village level systems (smaller scale). There are some larger scale units which can utilize agricultural waste and produce a good soil amendment.
Biochar can be a tool for improving soils and sequestering carbon in soil. However, this technology as any other must be implemented in a way that respects the land rights of indigenous people and supports the health of natural ecosystems. The goal of biochar technology as IBI envisions it is to improve soil fertility and sequester carbon, taking into consideration the full life cycle analysis of the technology. Properly implemented, biochar production and use should serve the interests of local people and protect biodiversity.
Photo: Conservation Agriculture Maize plots after 2 months (only 4 tons/ha biochar) measured against the control in Kaoma, West Zambia: photo courtesy of: Gijs Breedveld
Although IBI does not implement or manage any on the ground biochar project, we support biochar research and projects through information exchange, assistance with proposal development and donor matching as applicable, data collection, project publicity, and basic techincal advice. If your project is not highlighted below, please contact Brian Schorr to work on a project profile for publication in our newsletter and our website.
Biochar in Emerging and Developing Countries
Widen your Biochar knowledge, start your Biochar experience: Biochar Plus Informative and Educative kits are available to download for free at https://sites.google.com/site/biocharplusproject/home.
Biochar Plus improves the capacities of developing countries to absorb and use biochar technology, knowledge of which is readily available and promotes socio-economic development of families and communities. It also stimulates the development of specific biochar-related policies and incentive schemes, and builds the technical, entrepreneurial and scientific capacities of all stakeholders involved. The development of four energy clusters is expected to reduce anthropogenic pressure on forested areas and increase the soil fertility of cropland :
- Producing and selling biochar stoves.
- Producing and selling the fuel produced with locally available feedstock (pellets).
- Collecting and distributing the biochar.
- Receiving carbon credits and selling them in the international carbon markets.
World Bank Study of Biochar Projects in Developing Countries
IBI and Cornell University worked with the World Bank to identify promising biochar systems in developing countries in order to help direct potential funding for biochar projects. In December 2010, IBI sent out a survey to our network requesting information about developing country projects. We received more than 150 responses from 43 countries which form the basis for the report which was released in July 2014.
Highlighted Projects in Developing Economies
- Promotion of Clean Emission Charcoal Productivity by Cost EffectiveTechnologies at Field Scale: Use of Biochar in a Kitchen Garden (presentation by Jay Anand)
- EcoFarm: Facilitating an international collaboration to install biochar technology in Vietnam
- Bandar Utama—a history of biochar application in Malaysia
- The Kosñipata Biochar Project in Peru: Using Biochar to Increase Agricultural Sustainability in a Diverse Ecosystem
- Biochar Plus Project
- Typhoon Ketsana survivor makes a lifetime commitment to increase sustainability through biochar and gasifier stoves
- Finding Terra Preta in the Peruvian Andes, a personal story from Josiah Hunt
- Women Innovate with Biochar in the Amazon Region of Peru
- Carbon Roots International: Using Sugar Cane Bagasse in Haiti to Create Biochar and a more Sustainable Cooking Charcoal
- Carbon Gold: Finding a Market Niche with a Pilot-Scale Biochar Kiln
- Monitoring and Evaluating Project Progress in North Viet Nam with Biochar Stoves
- The SCAD Soil Fertility Project: Biochar Mixed with Slurry in India
- A Nepali Villager’s Tradition of Making Low Temperature Biochar
- Biochar for Water Filtration in Rural South East Asia: Josh Kearn’s work to build a cleaner production system
- Biochar Field Trials in Zambia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Nepal as well as New Biochar Characterization Research from a Team in Norway
- North Vietnam Villages Lead the Way in the Use of Biochar: Building on an Indigenous Knowledge Base
- Using Bamboo for Stoves in Uganda: Julius Turyamwijuka’s work with biochar stoves with the Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI)
- World Stove’s project in Rwanda working with Inyenyari on the LuciaStove
- Using Biochar to Improve Soil Health and Leaf Production at Tea Plantations in Sri Lanka: Dilmah Tea Gardens is using biochar to improve soils
- re:char—Creating Affordable Opportunities for Biochar Production and use in Western Kenya: working with Kenyan organization ACON, re:char is creating local manufacturing opportunities for biochar production units.
- First TLUD Stove Camp in Uganda: Report from the June 2011 Biomass Energy Foundation Stove camp by Dr. Paul Anderson
- Carbon Gold: Working with Cacao Farmers in Belize to Create a Rotating Biochar Production and Utilization System: Using ring kilns for rotating biochar production to increase cacao tree productivity.
- Developing an Eco-Fertilizer based on Biochar in Chile: A project to produce and test biochar to better utilize nitrogen in Chile.
- Using Improved Cookstoves and Biochar in Western Kenya: African Christian Organization Network (ACON) work in Kenya to improve cooking and farming techniques.
- World Stove: Transforming Haiti and the World: Nathaniel Mulcahy’s work to provide biochar-producing stoves and jobs in Haiti.
- Pro-Natura and Garden work in Senegal: Feature on new agricultural work in Senegal including biochar from Voice of America (VOA).
- Exceptional Results from Biochar Experiment in Cameroon: Chris Goodall’s report on the BiocharFund work in Cameroon with biochar used in maize plots.
- 20 Years of Biochar in Costa Rica: IBI board member Stephen Joseph visited a successful biochar compost facility in Costa Rica along with Gabi Soto of the Center for Tropical Agriculture Research and Teaching (CATIE) and other colleagues.
- Pro-Natura: Using Green Charcoal for Sustainable Development: Working with farmers in Senegal to utilize biochar for improved agriculture.
- Developing Biochar Research and Production Capabilities in Ghana: Edward Yeboah’s work to bring biochar to the forefront of soil research in Ghana.