Post-Conference Workshops

Biochar & Bioenergy 2109 is pleased to offer 3 workshops to conference attendees and the general public!

All workshops will be held following the close of the regular conference, on July 3, 2019 from 1:00-4:00 pm at the Lory Student Center, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. The registration fee is $40, which will be paid (credit card or check only) on arrival. Please review offered workshops below, and reserve your spot at this link.

Biochar Testing and Interpretation

Hugh McLaughlin, PhD, PE,



Biochar properties can be tested at several points in its utilization. The best time to measure the properties of the biochar itself is as soon after it is made and exits the production equipment. These measurements allow prediction of the biochar behavior in subsequent applications and feeds back to the production operators the interactions between the feedstock, the carbonization conditions and desired properties for the intended biochar markets. The options and implications of biochar testing are discussed and specific methods are demonstrated in detail, with particular focus on methods that can be used for controlling carbonizers and inferring biochar properties in subsequent market applications such as co-composting, direct soil addition and remediation of toxicity. The pathway from actual testing to presenting the results for the marketplace will be detailed and quantified, allowing the attendees to generate their own measurements on specific biochars and converting those measures into market performance metrics for comparison of available commercial biochar offerings. In addition, the specific methods, relative value, and legitimate insights associated with commercially available analytical tests will be reviewed. The workshop is a seminar-style presentation with questions and clarifications, intended individuals making biochar, purchasing biochar for value added blending or consuming biochar with the need to predict and maximize its performance in specific applications. It is being presented by an individual who has tested thousands of biochars over the last decade.

Applying Customer Discovery and Entrepreneurship Principles to Biochar Opportunities

Joseph Kapp

National Center for Resource Development


An emerging area of opportunity, biochar has the potential to revolutionize how biomass waste is managed. But this cannot be done in a vacuum. New markets and opportunities need to be developed to help create the demand for biochar. This workshop will address how to apply customer discovery and entrepreneurial principles in developing new markets and business models. The learning objectives include:

1. Understanding the principles of entrepreneurship mindsets as applied to biochar.

2. Using Lean Startup principles and the lean canvas.

3. Conducting a customer discovery process for biochar.

Understanding and Using Biochar Practice Guidelines Developed by the Umpqua Biochar Education Team (UBET)

Kelpie Wilson

Wilson Biochar Associates


The UBET Biochar Practice Guidelines were developed through an NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant. We worked with eight farms to develop techniques for making and using biochar in manure management and compost, and for evaluating the results. Each participant will receive a copy of the Practice Guidelines as a learning resource text for the workshop. The Guidelines cover biochar production in flame cap kilns, biochar use in barns, biochar use in compost, and protocols for conducting bioassays of biochar compost amendments. Since the Guidelines were completed in March 2018, Kelpie Wilson has presented this material to more than 700 people at conferences, webinars and workshops. Target Audience: Farmers, gardeners, foresters and extension educators who want to understand and share biochar practices. This seminar will explain the techniques covered in the Guidelines with pictures and examples. We will include a short hands-on demonstration of how to evaluate samples of biochar and biochar compost materials using pH strips. We will also conduct a project planning exercise using worksheets. Attendees will leave the workshop with a foundational understanding of flame carbonization principles and practices for converting on-farm and woodlot waste into biochar, including cost estimating. They will also learn about application rates for using biochar in animal barns and recipes for biochar composts and ferments, as well as methods to evaluate the resulting soil amendments.