Date: Aug 20th - 25th, 2017
Location: Alba, Italy

        When organic materials (woody or agricultural materials, organic residues, food waste, sewage sludge, digestate) are thermally decomposed in the absence of oxygen, one of the resulting products is biochar, a solid compound rich in carbon and inorganic elements. Incorporated into the ground, biochar is a porous soil enhancer that can lock up carbon, supply minerals, prevent nutrients leaching and water contamination and retain soil moisture. As a result, biochar can be used as an efficient material to enhance soil properties while sequestering carbon.

        However, biochar’s porous properties make it also suitable for a variety of value-added applications (adsorption of pollutants, filler for composites, catalysts, material for electronic applications, ….). Biochar properties depend on the biomass feedstock used as well as the operating conditions used for its production.  Moreover, they can be manipulated by pre- and post-processing. By understanding and controlling these factors it is possible to create value-added “designer biochars” for specific applications.

        The interest in biochar has been booming all over the world.  Several companies have jumped into production and the user community is looking for carbon-negative applications.

        Thus, it is imperative to review the existing knowledge as well as to stimulate research and development activities to bring clarity to this field, ranging from feedstock selection and properties, to production and upgrading processes, from identification of applications to economics, from characterization to products standardization and policies. The conference aims to create a forum where the current knowledge as well as the future directions are openly reviewed and discussed.

Main Themes and Proposed Sessions:

  • History of biochar: what can we learn from the past?
  • Feedstocks for biochar and pre-processing
  • Biochar production processes: from torrefaction to slow and fast pyrolysis
  • Biochar reactor technologies
  • Co-products (bio-oil and gas)
  • Biochar characterization: relationships among feedstock, production technology and characteristics
  • Biochar post-processing
  • Biochar applications: soil amendments, adsorbents, catalysts, fillers for composites, electronic applications
  • Biochar standardization (International Biochar Initiative, European Biochar Certificate, Biochar Quality Mandate)
  • Biochar handling, storage, markets and commercialization
  • Biochar systems
  • Biochar sequential uses
  • Biochar policies
  • Case studies: success stories

Conference website: