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The Alberta Biochar Initiative and Introduction to the North American Biochar Working Group

Don Harfield
Alberta Innovates
Presentation file: 
PDF icon LUNCH Plenary Harfield.pdf1.89 MB

The Alberta Biochar Initiative (ABI) was initiated in December 2011 with Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures (AITF) in collaboration with Lakeland College and funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada and AITF for the purpose of leading the commercializing of biochar in Alberta. Two demonstration scale pyrolysis units were purchased and operated over the 3 - 1/2 year period to June 2015. During this time, all six of the thematic objectives were exceeded or fully met and the ABI now consists of over 60 members.  AITF provided technical support to Air Terra for the approval in December 2015 by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for Air Terra products meeting specific quality and labelling requirements of biochar suitable for application in soil. Since June 2015 AITF continues leading the ABI and the development of biochars, biochar blends for specific soil applications, functionalized biochars and activated carbons from biochar from its research facilities in Vegreville, Alberta. This presentation will provide an overview of the ABI progress and the applicability of the value added products developed from biochar. The North American Biochar Working Group is being formed at the USBI 2016 Conference to better understand the market potential, collaboration opportunities, technology development and the policies & regulations affecting the emerging biochar industry in North America including representatives from the US, Canada and Mexico. This short presentation will provide an overview of the goals, and the plans for the next 5 months. Don Harfield, P.Eng., P.M.P. is the team lead for the AITF Thermochemical Processing group in Vegreville, Alberta, Canada which specializes in pyrolysis, combustion, hydrothermal carbonization, and the development of specialty carbons and biochar blends. He has also been the technical lead for the ABI since inception and continues to provide technical leadership to the ABI membership. 

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