This is the best list for both general topics and beginners.
It is dedicated to introducing the emerging, exciting new climate-energy-soils technology called "Biochar" to those who are new to the concept. This is where the list started, and folks with more experience with the biochar topic can help answer questions and help direct people to the appropriate specialized list for more detailed answers to their questions
It is also the home for discussion devoted to turning any form of biomass into char for the purpose of making biochar. This is the place to use words like "pyrolysis", "gasification", and "hydrothermal carbonization" ("HTC"). This list will also be the pre-dominant location of terms such as "energy", "biofuels", and "hybrid systems".
This list encompasses all possible scales of production (from those that exist today for industrial-scale biofuel production involving biomass transport over tens of kilometers, to the smallest possible char-making cooking and heating stoves).
Discussion of char-making that is polluting (venting) will generally be discouraged, if flaring is at all possible. The list encourages discussion about all possible geographic areas - and all possible biomass feedstocks, except those that would result in the destruction of primary forests.
It is also the home for discussion devoted to technical issues concerning biochar use in soil. This will be the place to use words such as "productivity improvement", "tonnes per hectare", and "char placement depth (or technology)". This list will also be the pre-dominant location of terms such as "CEC (cation exchange capacity)", "pH", "optimum char size", etc.
This biochar lis will encompass all possible scales of use in soil (from a single backyard pot up to the largest possible farm or plantation.) The list will encourage discussion of all possible geographic areas - and all possible forms of soils or new green growth - from backyards to algae farms to forests to feed-lots, etc. Discussion of biochar use that can create new forests will be encouraged.
More specialized discussion of carbon credis and policy issues are encouraged in the Biochar-Policy group
This is the home for discussion devoted to regulatory, economic and social factors that are integral to biochar production and use. This will be the place to use words such as "carbon offsets", "renewable energy credits", "de-forestation", "indigenous land rights", "sustainability", and "return on investment".
This list will encompass all possible geographic areas and political divisions from communities and villages to nation states and international agreements. Finance, development, biodiversity and employment are all issues that may impact or be impacted by biochar production and use. This is the place to discuss those issues. We anticipate this website to be active in developing future certification standards for Biochar.
Typically, we like to host the BioEnergy Discussion lists in house with mailman, however the topic of Biochar attracted a lot more interest from spammers, than we had the resources to deal with so June 2008, we moved the discussion to Yahoo, and then it grew.
We also moderated a Biochar Soils and Biochar Production list, and are now merging those conversations into the main Biochar list to help spark new ideas, and to acknowledge the inter-related skills needed to produce and consume biochar effectively.