Biochar boffins for Australian tour


Agricultural science to be the focus of international presentations.


Adding biochar to compost boosts nutrients and productivity.

Adding biochar to compost boosts nutrients and productivity.

Tom Ang/Getty Images

The first ever Australia New Zealand Biochar Study Tour will visit several cities across South Australia and Victoria, Australia, next year.

The tour will be an addition to the third Australia New Zealand Biochar Conference (ANZBC19), scheduled to run between October 20 and 26, 2019.

Biochar refers to the use of charcoal as an additive in soil with the aim of improving the quality of soil, especially for farming.

It has been suggested that this may facilitate carbon sequestration, or the removal of carbon from the atmosphere to be stored indefinitely in solid matter.

The Australia New Zealand Biochar Initiative website says, “the objective of ANZBC19 is to focus on mainstreaming biochar by bringing together stakeholders who wish to achieve commercial scale biochar outcomes with significant economic, environmental and community benefits”.

The tour is aimed at people who might apply these products to their work, such as farmers, horticulturists, and foresters.

Over three days, presenters will take to Mt. Gambier and Tantanoola in South Australia, and Portland in Victoria to discuss practical application and development in the field.

This will be followed by a conference hosted by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, also known as RMIT University, at its Melbourne city campus.

Keynote presenters include Tom Miles and Genxing Pan. Miles is chair of the International Biochar Initiative and works in Oregon in the US, designing systems in biomass processing for things such as power generation and nutrient management. Pan is a soil scientist developing enhanced biochar fertilisers at Nanjing Agricultural University in Jiangsu province, China.

The conference will include presentations from researchers, engineers, and manufacturers among others. The final day of the conference will consist of a field trip around the Melbourne metropolitan area to visit processing and manufacturing sites.

The conference is sponsored by RMIT University and commercial biochar manufacturer Green Man Char and the study tour is sponsored by another manufacturer called Rainbow Bee Eater.

Find out more here.

  1. https://anzbc.org.au/
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