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Adding value to biomass through biochar

30 June 2023

The Biochar Network New Zealand’s campaign to increase the profile of biochar continues. A Carbon Rescue initiative stemming from the post-Gabrielle residue cleanup has helped facilitate the conversation on how to create value from biomass through the creation of biochar.

Although public funding for the initiative is pending, a number of Network members all over the motu are demonstrating better ways of using excess biomass.

“With large volumes of biomass residues readily available to be converted to biochar, New Zealand is in a good position to develop innovative ways to get best value from biochar”, says Warrick Isaachsen, Chair of Biochar Network New Zealand Inc.

In Canterbury, the Biochar Network facilitated a workshop in collaboration with Pukaki Forestry Ltd to present the basics of biochar production and its applications. The project aims to demonstrate alternative methods to manage residues from wilding pine control and eradication. Further north in the Hutt Valley, Biochar Network member, The Good Carbon Farm was last month awarded a grant from Upper Hutt City Council to convert forestry slash into biochar for use in local community gardens.

In the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle and in areas affected by wildfires, the opportunity for biochar to be made from problematic organic resource streams has become increasingly obvious. The recent Ministerial inquiry into forestry slash and woody debris made multiple mentions of the potential of this harmful waste stream to be converted to biochar and used to remediate damaged land.

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Source: Biochar Network New Zealand

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