BIOCHAR PLUS – Energy, health, agricultural and environmental benefits from biochar use: building capacities in ACP Countries

Biochar Plus improves the capacity of African countries to absorb and use biochar technology and promotes socio-economic development of families and communities. It also stimulates the development of specific biochar-related policies and incentive schemes, and builds the technical, entrepreneurial and scientific capacities of all involved stakeholders. The development of the following four biochar energy value chains contributes to reduce anthropogenic pressure on forested areas and increase the cropland soil fertility:

  • Producing and selling biochar stoves;
  • Producing and selling the fuel produced with locally available feedstock (pellets);
  • Collecting and distributing the biochar;
  • Receiving carbon credits and selling them in the international carbon markets.

The sustainable production of energy with the ELSA stove and the implementation of environmental-friendly soil management practices target several stakeholders. The know-how to produce, distribute and use these stoves is shared with entrepreneurs and SMEs, offering them the opportunity to adopt the technology and start up stove manufacturing, fuel production and biochar distribution businesses. Farms and landowners are involved in gathering the agricultural residues and other available biomasses for fuel production and the application of biochar to soil to enhance its productivity: the collection of biomass remnants, such as crop residue, non-commercial wood, wood waste, manure, solid waste, non-food energy crops and construction scraps is promoted. Communities, particularly women, are encouraged to adopt the pyrolysis units and the biochar ELSA burners for cooking, achieving benefits in terms of energy efficiency and safety. The project is financed by the European Union through the ACP Group of States and is coordinated by the University of Udine, Italy, and involves ECREEE, ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiencies, Cape Verde, STARTER, Italy, ASA Initiative, Ghana, Université de Lomé, Togo, Counterpart in Rehabilitation and Development in Sierra Leone (CORD SL), Jimma University, Ethiopia, Bindura University of Science Education, Zimbabwe. It involves as associated institutions the African Union, UNIDO and the Cornell University (USA).

For more information, download here the Biochar Plus Fact Sheet.

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