Join our Nordic Biochar Webinar Series

In October 2020, we launched an ongoing webinar series on various biochar-related topics. We have one webinar every other month and each session consists of a presentation by an expert, followed by Q&A. The webinars are free of charge and open to everyone, but sign-up is required.  If you would like to learn more about a specific topic and/or you have specific wishes or ideas for future webinars, let us know by contacting the board at mail@nordicbiochar.org.

Previous webinars

In case you have missed one of our webinars or would like to watch them again, you can find the recordings of our previous webinars below.

How to establish a market for biochar as a carbon removal method for agriculture?

May 24th, 2024

Agriculture is harder to decarbonize than most other industries and much political attention has been put into methods to pave the way for a green transition of the food production. The not-for-profit CIP Foundation has examined the potential for biochar as a carbon removal solution for Danish agriculture and whether the market is ready for this. In this webinar, Helle Osmer Clausen, program director at the CIP Foundation tells about drivers and market impediments for biochar in Denmark based on the results of this work. The project covers market perspectives from the availability of relevant feedstock to potential climate effects, scaling of technology, potential payment for CDR, business models and investment decisions as well as the evolving regulatory framework and societal effects from using biochar. The results and some recommendations on the way forward will be discussed in the light of the political ambitions for biochar in Denmark.

Further information on the CIP foundation project on biochar can be found here. Slides from the CIP foundation webinar  are available for download.

How long will biochar stay in the soil – and how do we know that?

March 22nd, 2024

Biochar is increasingly recognized as a carbon dioxide removal technology, but there are on-going scientific and policy discussions on how to estimate long-term persistence of biochars. Cecilia Sundberg at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences leads the research project Biochar Stability: supporting transparent & reliable carbon removal, funded by the Swedish Energy Agency. In this webinar, she explains the state of knowledge regarding the proportion of carbon in biochar that remains in the soil over time and gives some guidance on the way forward. For further information on the topic check out also:

Guidelines for estimation of biochar durability: Background report

Modelling biochar long-term carbon storage in soil with harmonized analysis of decomposition data.

RE-CORD – Renewable Energy Consortium for Research and Demonstration

September 15th, 2023

In this webinar, we learn about the RE-CORD consortium (https://www.re-cord.org/), an R&D center based in Italy and active across Europe within EU- and self-financed projects. RE-CORD is a private-public nonprofit R&D organization founded in 2010 and active in the field of renewable energies, biomass, bioenergy and bioeconomy. RE-CORD activities have a special focus on biochar production from a variety of feedstock and testing of biochar for agriculture.

Several speakers from RE-CORD, present the different business units and array of activities:
RE-CORD presentation – Agr. Tommaso Barsali
Thermal Processes Business Unit – Eng. Edoardo Miliotti
Laboratory Business Unit – Dr. Lorenzo Bettucci
Raw Materials & Carbon Recycling Business Unit -Eng. Andrea Salimbeni
Agro-Bio-Clima Business Unit – Eng. David Casini
Project proposals – Agr. Tommaso Barsali

Large Scale BioCarbon Electricity Storage Based on 100% Renewable Raw Materials

Otto-Ville Kaukoniemi (Senior scientist at VTT Technology Research Centre of Finland), April 14th, 2023

Otto-Ville Kaukoniemi talks about the project “Electricity Storages Everywhere”, set to develop large scale electricity storages based on biocarbon and other renewable raw materials. Aim of the project is to demonstrate the feasibility of the developed technology and form a spin off company. Project is funded by Business Finland and it is part of VTT Launchpad start up incubator program. More information about the project: https://www.vttresearch.com/en/about-us/invest-innovation/vtt-launchpad/granarium-technologies

Enabling carbon negative energy production through Stiesdal SkyClean

Peter Lindholst (Stiesdal Fuel Technologies), January 13th, 2023

Peter Lindholst from Stiesdal Fuel Technologies talks about the Stiesdal pyrolysis technology, the choice of feedstock and options for usage of the pyrolysis gas. The presentation includes a use case involving digestate residues.

Biochar byproduct: pyrolysis liquids – the forgotten business

Kari Tiilikkala, (MTT/Luke), November 11th, 2022

Professor emeritus Kari Tiilikkala from MTT/Luke talks about pyrolysis liquids: what are they, how they can be used and what are the current bottlenecks for their commercialization.

Biocrete – Carbon negative concrete

Sverre Smeplass (NTNU), April 29th, 2022

Each year, 1 million ton of wood waste are generated in Norway. About 300 000 ton are from the building industry, and 94 % of it are being combusted. In total, over 5 % of the woody material entering a construction site leave as waste. In addition to that, there is a noteworthy amount of chippings, sawdust and other waste from the production of woody construction materials.

“Biocrete” is a new, carbon-negative concrete, which has been developed as a cooperation between Con-Form, Skanska, Norsk biokullnettverk, Betong Øst AS (Nordic Concrete Group), Opplandske Bioenergi, NTNU and Snøhetta. Biocrete contains biochar with a carbon content of around 90 %. The biochar is produced from wood waste that would otherwise have been combusted and the production takes place at Oplandske Bioenergi, who is running Norway’s first industrial pyrolysis plant since January 2021. The plant produces biochar and heat for the district heating network.

Sverre Smeplass is chief advisor at Skanska Teknikk and professor II at NTNU.

Download here the Biocrete webinar slides in pdf format.

Biochar sorbents: can we use waste to stop contamination?

Erlend Sørmo (NGI), February 25th, 2022

Erlend Sørmo from the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) talks about the large innovation and research project that NGI is carrying out together with several academic and industrial partners, to explore the process of making biochar from different types of contaminated organic waste. The goal is to use the biochar as a sorbent to clean water, or remediate contaminated soil. In this way, troublesome waste fractions can be safely handled and turned into useful products with environmental benefit. Two important questions have to be answered however: 1) What happens to the contaminants in the pyrolysis process?, and 2) Is it at all possible to make efficient biochar sorbents from the poor quality materials that the various organic waste fractions usually are considered to be?

Helsingborg: Biochar from garden waste

Ludvig Landen (NSR), Victor Norberg (2050 Consulting), December 3rd, 2021

As part of the Interreg Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak project Greater Bio, you will hear about the new biochar production plant in Helsingborg which will be inaugurated in spring 2022 and the biochar market development in Sweden and Denmark. The case partners are NSR, a public waste management company in Helsingborg, 2050 Consulting and Roskilde University in cooperation with project management partners Sustainable Business Bub and Gate21. The project is running until September 2022.

Helsingborg decided in 2019 to invest in a biochar production plant as a way of turning garden waste into biochar. This will make the city greener, bring district heating to 700 houses annually, and create a local carbon sink.

Program & speakers:

  • Introduction: NSR, 2050 Consulting, Roskilde University, Sustainable Business Hub
  • Biochar production in Helsingborg: Ludvig Landen, R&D Director, Environmental Director at NSR
  • Market analysis and development in Sweden and Denmark – Victor Norberg, sustainability consultant at 2050 Consulting
  • Bio-C the new competence center – Ludvig Landen

The Leader Gute Project: Biochar fertilizer in a commercial asparagus plantation

Anne and Sebastian Meyer (Waila AB), October 22nd, 2021

For our “one-year-webinar-anniversary”, Sebastian and Anne Meyer from WAILA AB talk about the soil fertility and yield related results of a field test with biochar fertilization on a commercial asparagus farm carried out in Gotland betwen 2018 and 2020.

The Swedish company WAILA AB cooperates with customers and partners across Europe. The goal is to jointly realize and optimize projects with a positive impact on the climate and/or biodiversity.

The results of this project are soon to be published in the Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, in a paper titled “Biochar-fertilizer blends – a valuable soil amendment for asparagus cultivation?”

Turning biorefinery side streams into high value carbon materials

Tomi Miikkulainen (Fifth Innovation Oy), August 27th, 2021

Our first webinar after the summer break led us once again to Finland, and we will learn about the biochar based “IKI” carbon material.

Fifth Innovation Oy is developing a biochar based material called IKI Carbon. IKI Carbon is almost pure carbon and as such, the material can be activated to function as a filter that captures impurities from air or water. The word “iki” means eternal in Finnish, and that is what the company is aiming for, restoring carbon from the atmosphere back to solid form, for good. Until now, the potential in biorefinery side streams has been largely overlooked and underutilized. What is often lacking is a meaningful way to use these leftover materials. With IKI Carbon, the company is aiming to create a big environmental impact as well as a significant new value out of these side streams.

Tomi Miikulainen is Chief Technology Officer of Fifth Innovation Oy. You can read more about IKI Carbon material here. The recording of the webinar will be uploaded soon.

OxyPower Hydrothermal Carbonization

Peter Axegård (C-Green), June 18th, 2021

In this webinar will go once again beyond the traditional “dry” pyrolysis and into hydrothermal carbonization.

Peter Axegård, CTO at C-Green, will talk about the OxyPower technology and introduce the first industrial OxyPower HTC plant. The presentation will include technical aspects, such as the opportunities to recover excess heat, as well as an overview on the properties of the hydrochar produced from different sources such as biogas digestate and wastewater sludge, and its possible uses for fertilization and carbon sequestration.

Peter Axegård has a master’s degree in engineering, a doctor of technology and an associate professor, KTH, Stockholm. He was a driving force in the elimination of chlorine gas used for bleaching pulp which resulted introduction of “dioxin free” industrial ECF bleaching. For several years he was director for pulping technology research at STFI, Stockholm. He was later responsible for biorefining at STFI / RISE . From 1996 to 2003, he was program manager for the first Swedish MISTRA project “Ecocyclic pulp mill”, which laid the foundation for e.g. The LignoBoost process for production pure kraft lignin, Cd removal from pulp mill effluent and other technologies. Since 2017 he is working in the C-Green team developing and implementing the OxyPower HTC process.

Investigation of CO2 on pyrolysis of spruce wood and bark

Liang Wang (SINTEF Energy Research), April 16, 2021

Biochar produced from pyrolysis of biomass has great potentials to be used the agricultural sector. With unique properties, use of biochar in agronomy can improve soil fertility, increase crop yields and sequestrate carbon as well. Production conditions have considerably effects on yield and property of biochar and gas and liquid by-products. In this work, the impacts of atmosphere (CO2 and N2), highest treatment temperature (HTT) and feedstock on yield of solid, liquid and gas products from pyrolysis of spruce wood and bark are evaluated, together with characteristics of the produced biochar. The findings in this study indicate that the carbon neutral biomass and CO2 could be co-utilized as feedstock and influencing carrier gas with multi benefits for biochar production, energy generation and waste management.

Liang Wang is Research Scientist at SINTEF in Trondheim, Norway and holds a doctoral degree in Thermal Energy from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim. Liang’s main research focuses are characterization and conversion of biomass and wastes using combined analytical instruments and techniques, advanced biomass carbonization technology, experimental and kinetic study of thermal conversion of biomass and charcoal and ash chemistry during biomass and waste thermal conversion.

Piloting sludge pyrolysis – Sludge char research and the new pilot facility in Helsinki region

Aino Kainulainen (Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority), February 12, 2021

In our second webinar in 2021, Aino Kainulainen presented the results of a recently completed research project on the pyrolysis of sewage sludge. The presentation includes a short virtual tour of the pilot facility that has recently been installed at HSY.

Aino Kainulainen is waste management R&D portfolio manager at the Helsinki Region Environmental Service Authority (HSY).

The European Biochar Certificate

Hans-Peter Schmidt (Ithaka Institute) and Mattias Gustafsson (EcoTopic), January 14, 2021

Our first webinar in 2021 is a joint event with the Finnish Biochar Association and the Norwegian Biochar Network. We look into biochar certification. Hans-Peter Schmidt from Ithaka Institute presents the European Biochar Certificate. The EBC has been developed in order to limit the risk of using biochar, especially in agricultural applications. It is a voluntary industry standard in most of Europe, in Switzerland, it is obligatory for all biochar sold for use in agriculture. Since 2020, the EBC is the first to certify the carbon sink value of biochar which makes it a tradable asset for CO2eq offsets. In this webinar, Hans-Peter Schmidt talks about the importance of certification, the European Biochar Certificate, C-Sink markets, its requirements and how to obtain it. Mattias Gustafsson rounds off the seminar by presenting his work on adapting the EBC for the Swedish market.

Hans-Peter Schmidt is head of Ithaka Institute for carbon intelligence, an international non-profit organization and network for carbon strategies. Hans-Peter has long experience in working with biochar, especially in agricultural applications with numerous projects around the world. Especially his contributions to biochar standardization and certification as well as in the sustainable production and use of biochar have made him a stable and important part of the international biochar community. Mattias Gustafsson is co-founder of EcoTopic, a Swedish constulancy company focussing on biochar. Mattias is working actively towards developing a biochar industry and has contributed to a number of important biochar activities, among them the Stockholm biochar project.

Utilization of wastewater sludge based on superheated steam drying and pyrolysis

Henning Schmidt-Petersen (AquaGreen), December 11, 2020

The Danish company AquaGreen has – in collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark – developed small and medium scale units for steam drying and pyrolysis of various organic materials. In our second webinar, AquaGreen will introduce the technology, present key results and give examples of recent projects, both academic and commercial.

Henning Schmidt-Petersen is owner and COO of the Danish Company AquaGreen.

For research results on the AquaGreen sludge char in adsorption applications see also Ravenni et al., Bioresource Technology Reports 10 (2020) 100421 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biteb.2020.100421)

Biochar in Urban Green Spaces

Ann-Mari Fransson (SLU), October 23, 2020

Our first webinar gave insight into the project “Rest till Bäst”. The project considers the entire chain from feedstock, biochar production and applications. Three different feedstocks have been tested in a full scale pyrolysis plant. Biochar have been tested in different urban applications like urban tree plantation, green roofs, storm-water systems and green walls. Preliminary results will be shown. Biochar is currently used in urban tree plantations and Blue, Green, Gray solutions and the Swedish market is growing.

Ann-Mari Fransson is an associate professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), where she focusses on sustainable urban vegetation.