IBG Spring Event

In lieu of a formal IBG meeting this spring, IBG is pleased to announce a “biochar production and preparation event” along with various networking opportunities. Appropriately, this event will be held on Earth Day! Details are provided below:

What: Biochar Production and Preparation Event

When: Friday, April 22, 2016. Organizers are setting up at 8:00 AM, event begins at 10:30 AM, a fabulous BBQ lunch at 12:30 PM, various demonstrations and discussions during the day, and closing by 4:00 PM (Staying until 4:00 pm is not mandatory). A more detailed agenda will be forthcoming.

Where: At the farm of Dave Ely, address: 3718 West Route 17, Kankakee, IL 60901. Dave’s farm is on the south side of Rt. 17, approximately 6 miles west of the Interstate I-57 Kankakee interchange. Those coming from the west, Dave’s farm is 31 miles east of the stop sign of Rt. 17 and Rt. 47 in Dwight, IL. GPS coordinates 41.1183 N, 87.9408 W. Cut and paste these coordinates directly into the Google search bar to locate his farm.

Who: Site host: Dave Ely. Event coordinators: Paul Anderson and Doug McCarty. Presiding IBG coordinator: Steve Peterson. Demonstrators of biochar production: all of the above, plus others. Roundtable participants and panel members: all the above plus others. And YOU!!! Anyone interested in biochar is welcome; please use this event to attract additional possible members of IBG.

Lunch: Dave Ely is preparing ROAST PORK for BBQ sandwiches, with chips, drinks, etc. Dave has decades of experience as a PROFESSIONAL in the competitive world of barbecues. He has all the equipment and know-how for doing it right!!! Ten dollars cash per person (no checks or credit cards please), and we promise you won’t go away hungry!! [NOTE: No other food option is provided, but feel free to bring your own lunch and eat with everyone if you wish.] For planning purposes, we would like to have a rough count of who will be purchasing the BBQ lunch, so please indicate yes or no for BBQ when you pre-register. These are not box-lunches, so we have more flexibility than at the regular meetings. Size of the group is not a problem as long as we have a rough count a few days before the event.

Program comments: In this rural setting, we are able to ignite as many biochar makers as we can find and supervise. The following will be on display and will be functioning at least part of the time at the event:

  • Small: Cookstoves. TLUD micro-gasifier stoves by Paul Anderson and others. At least 2 natural draft (ND) units and 2 forced air (FD) units.
  • Moderate: Char-makers. Stove-Pipe stove by Paul Wever. Troika institutional size for Haiti by Anderson. Ely’s fuel dryer with both direct (exhaust) and indirect (heat exchanger) heat transfers.
  • Barrel-size: Char-makers. Vertical TLUD single-walled. Vertical TLUD double-walled. Half-barrel portable double-wall TLUD (by Anderson for USDA ARS Peoria), and Anderson’s C4 kiln (Controlled, Continuous, Covered Cone kiln) with Flame-cap technology.
  • Other: Discussions about other char-making devices and technologies with $0 (a pit or a pile approach) to $5000 price tags.

Panels and Roundtable Discussions: ALL attendees are invited to participate (including short oral comments) at several discussion times interspersed between tending and observing the char-making demonstrations. Anticipated discussions include: Lessons learned about char-making. Quenching of hot char. Preparation of char before placement into soil (including inoculation with microbes and mixing with compost and urine and manure and worms). Gardening with biochar (personal experiences). Conducting controlled experiments with biochar as the key variable. Issues of supply of raw biomass, including drying.

Other presentations: The organizers are NOT seeking any formal PowerPoint presentations because this event will be held mainly outside and in Dave Ely’s large Morton building on his property. But electrical power will be available and any attendees are encouraged to bring laptops or tablets if desired to showcase any recent developments they have accomplished with biochar.

Attire: Dress for the weather of that day, to be outside and in a metal barn. Do NOT dress up. This is a hands-on event and there could be some smokiness occasionally. Enthusiasts might want to bring a pair of work gloves.

Optional: Biomass fuel donations are welcome. If you have access and can bring some biomass fuel to the Ely farm, please do so. Any wood should have a thickness or diameter of less than 3 inches. If you have any specialty fuels (such as corn stalks, cobs, pellets, etc.), either for testing or simply to convert to biochar, please bring them. (Any doubts or questions, please phone Paul Anderson at 309-452-7072)

Please RSVP to Steve Peterson Steve.Peterson@ARS.USDA.GOV. Thanks for your interest and we hope to see you on the 22nd!


For additional meetings and conferences, check the events on the International Biochar website