Canadian Biomass Magazine

New biochar group to show economics

April 18, 2013
By Scott Jamieson

April 18, 2013, Ottawa – The Canadian Biochar Consortium (CBC), a non-profit organization consisting of leading biochar experts and professionals in Canada, was launched today in Ottawa.

The CBC is planning large-scale biochar field trials across the country. Biochar is the term used when charcoal derived from biomass is used for non-energy purposes and in agricultural applications. As part of the trials that the CBC is planning, various biochar-based products will be tested for their effectiveness in real-world “field-scale” trials. Dr. Gerald Kutney of Sixth Element Sustainable Management said, “The amazing feature of biochar is that since it is not consumed; it theoretically has only to be applied once, and its effectiveness will continue for generations to come. The unique property of biochar is that it is an “agricultural catalyst;” i.e., it promotes plant growth but is not consumed in the

The initial aims of the CBC are to demonstrate the commercial viability of various biochars in agricultural applications and, at the same time, the special ability of biochar to sequester carbon and therefore mitigate the effects of climate change.

Members of the CBC include Lloyd Helferty, an engineering technologist who is the founder and president of Biochar-Ontario, Dr. Joseph Kimetu, a soil scientist working on biochar production and applications both in agro-ecosystems and in oil sands remediation work, Dr. Gerald Kutney, a business executive with experience in the commercialization of a novel technology to produce biochar, Dr. Julie Major, a soil scientist whose PhD work concentrated on the effects of biochar applications to field soil fertility, hydrology and carbon biogeochemistry, and Dr. Lloyd Strachan, an agricultural economist who has worked on agricultural planning, evaluation and rural development in Canada and in over 40 other countries around the world.

For more information about the Canadian Biochar Consortium please contact Lloyd Helferty at

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