Here is a little description of the biochar production project we are currently working on starting in the South of Spain. I will upload pictures in the near future. We are located in the Spanish Sierra Nevada, a chain of mountains located on the coastline of Granada.
The region is a very interesting case for biochar. Following are a few of the reasons why:
The dry climate of the region (accentuated by global warming) has a deep impact on soil quality, which becomes depleted of both its nutrients and water retention capacities. Biochar is the perfect addition for these kind of soils for them to recover their fertility.
Many trees are suffering and the long-lasting deforestation and intensive agriculture of the Andalusian coast resulted in worsening the dry conditions of the mountains and coastal areas of the region. Many reforestation projects are very active to try and counterbalance these effects. However, they are struggling with the low success rate of these new trees due to soil quality and dry conditions. Adding biochar to the substrate of newly planted trees and within tree nurseries themselves could make an incredible difference to the success rate of trees planted in the area.
Riverbeds in the region have been highly mistreated by a mixture of poor human hydrological management practices (including the installation of badly planned dam infrastructures and digging up of riverbeds to provide construction material for the region) and intense cycles of droughts/floods. Stabilizing riverbeds became a high priority for many of the local administration, and biochar can play a role in reintroducing trees and local deep-rooted bushes in riverbeds where soil quality is poor.
The region is home to intensive production of fruiting trees. At the end of the winter, immense quantities of wood residues, including mostly olive, but also citrus and other fruiting trees are left as waste. This wood is currently chipped in the case of very large-scale production fields on the coast, but in the case of the mountainous region, it is mostly being burnt on site (leaving olive residues pilling up notoriously provides breeding ground for the olive fly).
The same olive oil production has another by product in olive pips and pulp, a resource we could consider for biochar production as well.
The high environmental stakes and potential political interest in the region makes it a very interesting case study for C-Go. Additionally, the C-Go monitoring system would provide any local authorities with means to audit and certify their actions towards solutioning these issues.
We are currently approaching the local council and get a kiln running by this winter in order to pyrolyze wood waste generated by the pruning and management of trees owned by the council. Depending on the amount of waste wood material to process, we could aim at setting up a C-Go kiln for such a process. Hopefully, this could serve as a "test-run" to provide confidence to the council in order to scale it and approach private land-owners and farmers.
We would like to start this with the mountain region, where the political and public interests are all pointing in our direction. With the idea of then potentially spread the mature concept to the coastal regions of Malaga and Almeria, where the impact would be higher still, but resistance due to economic interests of large-scale intensive farming might make it more difficult.
Hope this provides context towards our approach and vision.