Scale, Sales & Marketing

Session Title

Biochar Business Development

SSM Session 8 - Hunt.pdf (8743 kB)
Josiah Hunt presentation

SSM Session 8 - Gaunt.pdf (1309 kB)
John Gaunt presentation

SSM Session 8 - Levine McMullen.pdf (9301 kB)
Brian McMullen_Jonah Levine presentation

SSM Session 8 - Levine.pdf (711 kB)
Jonah Levine presentation

Location

CC 162

Start Date

16-10-2013 1:30 PM

End Date

16-10-2013 2:50 PM

Session Description

Biochar entrepreneurs face challenges in starting new businesses, marketing new ideas, developing marketable products and providing customer support. Experience and ideas are presented by an engineering consultant, entrepreneurs, and soil scientists with project and commercial experience.

  • Opportunities and Challenges for Biochar Entrepreneurs – Tom Miles, NW Biochar Working Group , Oregon

Commercial experience in the Pacific Northwest region shows that soil and plant needs must lead product and process development and demonstration.

  • Beyond Plain Biochar: Post-Pyrolysis Processes to Improve Economic Efficiency of Biochar Applications. - Josiah Hunt, Hawaii Biochar, Hawaii

An active demonstration of some reasonably priced ways of improving biochar and tailoring it to the needs of farmers and other consumers.

  • Biochar/Compost as a reclamation medium on public lands: multiple land use applications on the White River National Forest, Colorado. - Brian McMullen, Andrew Harley, Morgan Williams, and Jonah Levine

Practical experience and preliminary results are presented for the first years of using biochar and compost mixtures in multiple revegetation and reclamation projects in the White River National Forest, Colorado.

  • Products for the Nurseries - John Gaunt, Green Tree Garden Supply, New York.

A commercial soil scientist’s view on why producers need to understand the nursery industry for biochar to become commercially viable.

Bio and Photo

Opportunities and Challenges for Biochar Entrepreneurs – Tom Miles NW Biochar Working Group

Commercial experience in the Pacific Northwest region shows that soil and plant needs must lead product and process development and demonstration. Many biochar entrepreneurs have started by developing processes to produce biochar guided by conventional wisdom about what product qualities are important. This has distracted from the broader challenge of getting customers to try biochar and developing products where biochar is the principle component of a soil solution. More recent emphasis on field demonstrations has led to improved knowledge about what product qualities are important, or unimportant, and how to segment and promote biochar to specific markets. Producers in the region employ a variety of strategies to target specific markets, create customer awareness, and establish pricing in markets crowded with other soil amendments.

Beyond Plain Biochar: Post-Pyrolysis Processes to Improve Economic Efficiency of Biochar Applications. - Josiah Hunt, Hawaii Biochar, Hawaii

An active demonstration of the standard biochar treatment as practiced by Hawaii Biochar Products since 2009 is presented. This treatment results in a product that more quickly achieves improved plant growth response when used, with minimal added inputs. Other processes and products will be discussed, there is much more that can be done to improve the immediate economic efficiency of biochar applications. This is a look beyond plain char in a tons/hectare mentality in an effort to hone in on what works best for the farmer. It is about building products around the needs and capabilities of the true end users, the soil microbes and plants, in a way that is economically achievable by their caretakers, the farmers, and utilizing the unique characteristics of biochar to create those products.

Biochar/Compost as a reclamation medium on public lands: multiple land use applications on the White River National Forest, Colorado. - Brian McMullen, White River National Forest, Colorado, Andrew Harley, Tetratech Inc., Morgan Williams, Biochar Solutions, and Jonah Levine, Biochar Now.

Since 2010, the White River National Forest (WRNF) has cooperated on, implemented and planned several innovative projects using a mix of biochar and compost as a soil amendment on disparate elevation, precipitation, and land use settings. This presentation will provide an overview of preliminary (1st and 2nd year) results from field-based trials of biochar/compost use on a steep-sloped mine revegetation effort (the Hope Mine project) and a coal mine haul route decommissioning project (Coal Basin/Dutch Creek road rehabilitation). Summer 2013 implementation projects to be presented will include using livestock to incorporate biochar/compost onto a waste rock pile (the Sutey Pile holistic grazing project), amendment of native pollinator plant installations, and a xeriscaping project on the Sopris Ranger Station. Out year projects that are planned for biochar/compost application on the WRNF include oil/gas pad reclamation, a 10-acre uranium mine reclamation and remediation project (Butterfly Burrell), topsoil creation at a metals mining dredge site (Swan River Restoration project), and potential ski area drainage management and revegetation projects (Vail Resorts and Aspen Skiing Company). In addition to the field-based results and implications, stimulation of local restoration economies and uses for biomass such as beetle-killed pine will be discussed.

Products for the Nurseries - John Gaunt, Green Tree Garden Supply, New York

Producers need to understand the nursery industry for biochar to become an economic component of growing media. A soil scientist and owner of a nursery supply company will describe why commercial growers expect a consistent product with predictable and repeatable properties. An amendment with biochar as a principal component must meet competitive cost targets which is a challenge at the current state of biochar production. Successful blends may be those where biochar a can complement or enhance the qualities of other products such as peat, compost, coir, bark, rock minerals, clay or vermiculite. Strategies for deploying biochar in the nursery market will be described.

 
Oct 16th, 1:30 PM Oct 16th, 2:50 PM

Biochar Business Development

CC 162

Biochar entrepreneurs face challenges in starting new businesses, marketing new ideas, developing marketable products and providing customer support. Experience and ideas are presented by an engineering consultant, entrepreneurs, and soil scientists with project and commercial experience.

  • Opportunities and Challenges for Biochar Entrepreneurs – Tom Miles, NW Biochar Working Group , Oregon

Commercial experience in the Pacific Northwest region shows that soil and plant needs must lead product and process development and demonstration.

  • Beyond Plain Biochar: Post-Pyrolysis Processes to Improve Economic Efficiency of Biochar Applications. - Josiah Hunt, Hawaii Biochar, Hawaii

An active demonstration of some reasonably priced ways of improving biochar and tailoring it to the needs of farmers and other consumers.

  • Biochar/Compost as a reclamation medium on public lands: multiple land use applications on the White River National Forest, Colorado. - Brian McMullen, Andrew Harley, Morgan Williams, and Jonah Levine

Practical experience and preliminary results are presented for the first years of using biochar and compost mixtures in multiple revegetation and reclamation projects in the White River National Forest, Colorado.

  • Products for the Nurseries - John Gaunt, Green Tree Garden Supply, New York.

A commercial soil scientist’s view on why producers need to understand the nursery industry for biochar to become commercially viable.