The interest in biochar seems to be on a huge upswing lately. We have been retained as consultants on a number of projects over the last few months and more opportunities seem to be popping up weekly. We were retained by Earth Foundries, an environmentally-focused startup in Santa Clara County, to provide advice on biochar production technologies for processing fuels reduction materials in their area. We recently signed a contract with the San Bernardino Valley Water District to provide them with information about biochar and biomass conversion technologies to process surplus woody wastes from their local watersheds. And we were recently contacted about consulting on a very large, 2-year biomass processing project in the East Bay Area that will start early next year that would produce thousands of tons of biochar.
We recently presented to CAPCOA, the state organization for Pollution Control Officers, on our proposal to measure emissions from conservation burn piles and Ring of Fire kilns to demonstrate to the air districts just how much pollution is reduced with these techniques. Working with the US Forest Service’s Missoula, Montana Fire Science Lab, Andrew Mutziger of the SLOAPCD, and Dr. James Amonette of Washington State University, we are looking for $150K in funding to do this important testing.
And, now that the first big rain of the season has reduced the fire danger in our area, inquiries by landowners looking for training in these low-emission, low cost techniques are coming in weekly, and we will be starting these community events in mid-November. So, things are really starting to scale in the biochar world these days! It’s so good to see.