I was fortunate to be accepted onto the Farming Connect Management Exchange programme, which gave me the opportunity to travel around the EU.
My research subject was ‘Producing Biochar from agricultural waste products.
My first trip was to Ireland to a ‘Carbon farming and Biochar’ workshop near Kilkenny. The workshop was delivered by Mr Albert Bates, a leading Biochar expert from the USA and author of several Biochar technical books.
The workshop stared with a practical burn session using a bowl shaped hole in the ground. This is a low-tech but useful method of producing Biochar in a couple of hours with very little equipment.
This practical session was followed by a technical presentation with an opportunity to ask Mr Bates questions which led to a very interesting debate on the various uses of Biochar. I became aware that leading figures in the Irish Biochar industry were present. Examples of products made from Biochar were distributed, these included Biochar paper, soap and other building materials.