On Wednesday, April 27th, the IRSI staff attended the Alberta Biochar Initiative’s workshop on the commercialization of biochar hosted at the Alberta Innovates Technology Futures’ building in Edmonton. The event had a terrific turnout of approximately 60 attendees representing academia, government, industry, and researchers. Topics covered everything from the different applications for biochar to the types of technology available for the production of biochar. In terms of identifying a direct path to the commercialization of biochar I believe that the audience was split between two camps. One side was of the opinion that further research was needed and the production of biochar should be done with specific characteristics in small volumes. The other perspective was that large volumes of homogeneous, consistent biochar was needed and that once available the applications would be realized. Although no consensus was reached on the clearest path to commercialization the dialogue was fruitful and the networking opportunities will undoubtedly lead to positive developments. IRSI will continue to forge ahead with the demonstration of the Ulysses pyrolysis system in Drayton Valley and hopefully will be a contributor to the expansion of the biochar markets in both Canada and the United States.
IRSI would like to thank the ABI and AITF staff that put on the event and look forward to the next workshop.