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JCRES: Mike Rocke, Ron Larson: Biochar: A simple tool to fight global warming

Mike Rocke is Vice President of Business Development with Cool Planet Energy Systems which is building a central Louisiana biorefinery designed to produce 10 million gallons per year of high-octane, renewable gasoline blends, to be operational in 2015. The facility will also be constructed to produce biochar, a charcoal that allows the soil to boost yields on reduced use of fertilizer and water. 

NREL alumn and co-founder of CRES Ron Larson also has a part in this presentation as he follows the biochar approach closely as a potential way to draw down CO2 from the atmosphere on a meaningful scale.

Note: The speaker series is now starting at 7pm.

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  • Ron L.

    Rhonda: Thanks for the compliment and question. I will have to investigate further on what is happening with all US Forest Service permitting. But a year ago I was assured by a chief forester in the San Luis valley that they were excited about biochar being able to remove their beetle kill - and that all the environmental impact assessment hurdles had already been passed. We will learn a lot more from the work on exactly this issue just starting at CSU that Mr. (almost Dr.) John Field talked about in the BANR program. (See It is in large part the economics - which should be based on future fire hazards, insurance premiums, etc - and isn't.

    June 27, 2014

  • Rhonda

    Great presentation, very inspiring. But due to the tight time schedule (and I came late too), I was not able to ask a question. I had heard that the US Forest Service is not allowing very much of the beetle kill trees in Colorado to be removed. I heard that it is hardly more than 10% over pre-beetle kill allotments and dramatically under what the interest in using those trees for viable and beneficial industry is. I am very concerned about this not just for biochar, but also for other biomass industries. Any thoughts or comments on this from folks???

    June 26, 2014

  • Ron L.

    We have at least two and maybe three of NREL's top managers coming - because biochar is new for NREL. Thanks to Steve for the plug below (unsolicited, but he has been using biochar). He is right in al he said, but needs to also add that biochar is the best way to remove atmospheric carbon - to get to 350 ppm.

    June 24, 2014

  • Steve S.

    When one comapny can come up with an ECONOMICAL way to convert farm slash and beetle kill trees to two useful products:

    1) Gasoline - to replace gasoline from fossil fuels and cut fracking


    2) Biochar - to improve farm soil and yields... and avoid the methane of rotting materials

    We need to run with it. All come!

    June 24, 2014

  • Ron L.

    Mike Rocke has raised hundreds of millions for Cool Planet - from some of the world's most powerful energy companies. This is not to be missed.

    June 21, 2014

  • Roger A.

    Sounds like a very interesting presentation!

    June 3, 2014

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