Striving towards Char-biquity


The biochar moonshot: Char-biquity

The biggest little town in Australia, Mulumbimby, located in New South Wales, is hosting their 2nd annual Bio-CharFest on Sept 5 – 7 and I am very excited to be attending. One of the big reasons I am really looking forward to attending and speaking at this event is that the organizers are very forward thinking when it comes to connecting the carbonized dots. Much as I am interested in biochar use in agricultural scenarios, I am fascinated by the prospect and implications of using biochar in things such as 3D printers. One of the world’s biggest, and I mean that quite literally, 3D printing guru’s will be speaking at the event. None other than Behrokh Khoshnevis, the inventor of a machine that can 3D print a house in less than 24 hours, will be talking about how homes of the future are likely to be built. Imagine if we start 3D printing those dwellings using biochar, then we could really start moving the carbon needle back down below levels that are already playing havoc with global climate. I suspect that kind of house would qualify for LEED, Passiv Haus, Living Building Challenge and Cradle to Cradle with ease and maybe even set a new standard for carbon negative housing!  Or imagine post natural disaster scenarios where downed biomass can be converted into biochar and then converted into housing.

I’ve dubbed my own presentation ‘Striving towards Char-biquity’ (i.e. the vision of a time and a place where carbonized biomass and the process of carbonizing every bit of ‘unloved’ biomass and turning it into long-lived ‘bioUPgradable’ products is the norm). Now that might sound a tad grandiose but I am a big believer in BHAGs as motivators. The planet could surely use a few right now to get where we need to be. So Char-biquity is my rallying cry, my call to arms, my motto.

To get the full presentation you will just have to join me down in Mulumbimby. However I can share a few tidbits with my favorite readers. Obviously agricultural scenarios where biochar makes both economic and environmental sense are a big part of the Char-biquity future so I plan to talk about the current agro-economics of biochar for certain Ag systems. I may even be able to share some of the plans for a great greenhouse & biochar project I am working on if I get all the right people to allow me to lift the veil a little bit. But I will also be talking about the increasing number of biochar based products that will first enjoy life above the soil before finding their way below it. I’ve blogged about a few of these ideas before but there are some products and projects that are still in stealth mode which will be talked about as well, in hushed tones of course.

So if you have a visit Down Under on your bucket list, this September just might be a great time to join me/us in creating this brave new carbonized world. As an added incentive, not only will all things biochar be covered, but many attendees will be staying at the fabulous Byron Eco Park, a 100% ecologically sustainable village and eco-tourism resort where they have been making biochar and 3D printing with minerals for a long while.  I don’t think I’ll ever want to leave…

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