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Curry Public Library

94341 3rd St

Gold Beach, OR 97444

Event description
Learn how charred biomass (biochar) can increase soil productivity, reduce wildfire risk, and store carbon.

About this Event

In the morning session, biochar consultant Kelpie Wilson will teach a mini-course in biochar science, applications and the climate impacts of biochar. In the afternoon, Wilson will lead a demonstration of simple, affordable and clean biochar production methods using woody debris and brush that would normally be piled and burned.


Students will:

  1. Be introduced to the chemistry and biology of biochar at scales ranging from atoms to the biosphere.
  2. Learn how biochar sequesters carbon while improving soil health and plant productivity.
  3. Understand available technology options for biochar production at different scales.
  4. Become familiar with the production of biochar through a hands-on demonstration


9:00 – 10:00 Biochar Basics

  • What is Biochar?
  • The History of Biochar
  • How Does Biochar Work in the Soil?
  • Biochar Applications
  • Farming Earth and Sky: Biochar and the Carbon Cycle

10 – 10:15 Break

10:15 – 11:15 Biochar Production

  • Pyrolysis – overview
  • Mobile Biochar Production – options
  • Biochar Job Planning and Estimating

11:15 – 11:45 Questions and organize carpooling to site

Lunch in the field

1:00 – 1:15 safety orientation

1:15 – 4:00 Loading, lighting and tending biochar kilns

4:00 – 4:30 Quench the burn, distribute biochar in bags to participants, load equipment

Instructions for Participants

Snacks will be provided, but please bring your own lunch. Participants are encouraged to help load the biochar kiln. If you want to help please be prepared to be close to a large bonfire. Wear non-flammable clothing such as cotton or wool. Do not wear fleece or nylon. Bring leather work gloves and wear good sturdy shoes or boots.

About the Instructor

Kelpie Wilson is an engineer and analyst with 30 years of experience in renewable energy, sustainable forestry and resource conservation. As a consultant, Kelpie works directly with forest managers, farmers and conservationists to develop systems for making biochar from waste biomass. She researches and teaches techniques for using biochar in compost and manure management, and presents many biochar workshops each year.

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Curry Public Library

94341 3rd St

Gold Beach, OR 97444

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