Biochar presentation to Design Build Live

When:        June 19th, 2013   7-9 pm
Where:       House + Earth, 1214 West 6th St.,  Austin TX
Presenter:   Patrick Van Haren

Interest in Biochar is growing rapidly because of its unique ability to sequester carbon while improving plant/tree performance.  Biochar holds the promise of being able to:

·         contribute baseload renewable electricity to complement peak solar and wind production;
·         reducing methane and nitrogen emissions from intensive livestock operations, landfills, and composting operations;
·         improve the holding of nutrients (increased fertilizer value) and water in the soil, meaning less run-off and erosion.
·         remain in the soil for up to 1,000 years as a fixed carbon source.
·         increase the ability of soil to hold more nutrients, making plants stronger, healthier and more nutritious. 
·         bind toxic elements in the soil, making our food and trees less toxic.
While Biochar holds much promise, it is controversial due to fears that its use will cause deforestation, and fears that the same facilities may be used for the combustion of garbage to energy – a step backwards in the Zero-Waste hierarchy of a cleaner planet.
This presentation will explore the origins of biochar and its mechanics in the soil.  The presenter will also provide context for how biochar’s benefits can be attained while respecting policy constraints that prevent our ecology from slipping backwards.

UPDATE:  Jeff Wallin of The Biochar Company will be joining me at this presentation.  To see more of Jeff’s work, please look at the following webpage/video he presented at the 2012 National Biochar Conference:  http://2012.biochar.us.com/profile/165/jeff-wallin

 

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