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The Pacific Northwest has the potential to benefit greatly from the capture and sequestration of atmospheric carbon.


ThePacific Northwest is a fertile ground for promoting biochar as an essentialtool in the mitigation of global warming. Not only does the PNW have the available biomass to support the development of abiochar production system, this region has a unique culture of people with the talentand enthusiasm for sustainability-- capable of advancing the production,research and utilization of biochar.

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PNW Biochar is being developed by the Pacific Northwest region's biochar community for the purposes of advancing the merits of black earth soils, amplifying the scale of biochar development, and supporting a compelling vision of sustainable economic, social and environmental land use practices. Its charge will be to promote climate change mitigation, biomass energy, and soil fertility as an integrated whole at many scales.


  1. 1 Framework


To be of most value, the organization serves three main roles in the biochar community:

  • To educate the public on biochar
  • To be a forum for biochar innovation in the Pacific Northwest
  • To establish sustainability protocols for the production and use of biochar

The exercise of each role informs and strengthens the other two roles, and altogether gives the purpose for their being assembled in one organization. The PNW Biochar Initiative intends to be a domestic non-profit 501c3 corporation registered in Oregon, with an officer or two and a board of directors comprised of three to nine members. It will be a Public/Private partnership - a openly funded organization with members providing institutional support.


Programs that inform the general public and businesscommunities about the purpose and value of biochar.

  • Speaks at schools, events, festivals, conventions, etc.
  • Maintains an online information database of regional field trials, links, contacts, organizations, etc.
  • Catalogs biochar materials, soils, and climate data.
  • Actively promotes biochar projects and collects case studies.
  • Identifies problems with projects and consults on continuity and direction.
  • Provides or helps develop operating facilities, soil sites and materials for testing.
  • Identify appropriate technologies for project development.


A diversity of biochar interests, represented by a rich cross section of people from academicresearch, innovative nonprofits, supportive government, enthusiastic citizensand a burgeoning community of sustainable industries.

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  • Hosts an annual series of biochar conferences in the Pacific Northwest
    • Assembles soil scientists, loggers, farmers, commercial forest and mill owners, the U.S. Forest service, OSU Forestry researchers, civil engineers, chemists, carbon traders (Climate Trust), USDA-ARS researchers, mechanical engineers, an electrical utility district (Consumes Power), ODOE policy, academic agriculturalists.
  • Rigorously investigates field trials, tests and applications
    • Supports biochar lab and field work through peer scientific testing, analysis and interpretation.
    • Validates projects through collaborative peer review.
  • Directs Funding
    • Helps direct funding for economical biochar projects from public and private sources to biochar projects as the grant recipient or coordinator.
  • Reaches Out
    • Draws people to the forum not usually represented - (community organizations, tribes, and etc.)
    • Connects to other biochar and other sustainability organizations -
  • Develops Policy
    • Assembles the science and community foundations beneath policy making.
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Protocols & Certifications

PNW-Biochar is in the process of developing a set of Biochar Sustainability Protocols. The protocols will set guidelines for the creation of energy from biochar production,the sequestration of carbon and the creation of biochar based soil amendments.

  • The Biochar Sustainability Protocol - guides the production and use of biochar from general agreement around values from feedstocks to production through distribution and end use
  • The Carbon Minus Certification - creates a tiered labeling for food, fiber, and energy products that come from biochar soils.

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Potential projects of the organization include the following:
  • Open Sustainable Biochar Protocol
  • Field Trials Project
  • Certification of Products from Biochar Soils