Bio-Char IV

May 18-23, 2025
Santa Marta, Colombia

About This Conference

This Conference is the fourth of the series, following the very successful Bio-Char I (Alba, Italy, 2017), Bio-Char II (Cetraro, Italy, 2019), and Biochar III (Tomar, Portugal, 2023).

When organic materials (woody or agricultural materials, organic residues, sewage sludge, digestate,…) are thermally decomposed in the absence of oxygen, one of the resulting products is bio-char, a solid compound rich in carbon and inorganic elements. Incorporated into the ground, bio-char is a porous soil enhancer that can lock up carbon, supply minerals, prevent nutrients leaching and water contamination and retain soil moisture. As a result, bio-char can be used as an efficient material to enhance soil properties while sequestering carbon. However, bio-char’s porous properties make it also suitable for a variety of value-added applications (adsorption of pollutants, filler for composites, catalysts, material for electronic applications, additive for food and feed ….). Bio-char properties depend on the biomass feedstock used as well as the operating conditions used for its production.  Moreover, they can be manipulated by pre- and post-processing. By understanding and controlling these factors it is possible to create value-added “designer bio-chars” for specific applications.  

The interest in bio-char has been booming all over the world and rapidly escalating in the last two years.  A number of companies have jumped into production and the user community is looking for carbon-negative applications.  As a result, it is imperative to review the existing knowledge as well as to stimulate research and development activities to bring clarity to this field, ranging from feedstock selection and properties, to production and upgrading processes, from identification of applications to economics, from characterization to products standardization and policies and carbon dioxide offset credits.

The conference aims to create a forum where the current knowledge as well as the future directions are openly reviewed and discussed.

Previous Conference Program [PDF]

Conference Organization

Conference Co-Chairs

Franco Berruti
Western University, London, Ontario, Canada

Farid Chejne Janna
Universidad Nacional de Colombia, sede Medellín, Colombia

David Chiaramonti
Politecnico di Torino, Italy

Johannes Lehmann
Cornell University, USA

Scientific Committee:

Franco Berruti, ICFAR, Western University (Canada)
Tristan Brown, SUNY (USA)
David Chiaramonti, Politecnico di Torino and RE-CORD (Italy)
Sara Duarte, The Next 150 and ILBI (Mexico)
Anthony Dufour, CNRS (France)
Silvia Fiore, Politecnico di Torino (Italy)
Manuel Garcia-Perez, Washington State University (USA)
Mauro Giorcelli, Politecnico di Torino and ICHAR (Italy)
Paola Giudicianni, CNR (Italy)
Farid Chejne Janna, Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Colombia)
Naomi Klinghoffer, ICFAR, Western University (Canada)
Johannes Lehmann, Cornell University (USA)
Ondrej Masek, University of Edinburgh (UK)
Wendy Lu Maxwell-Barton, IBI (USA)
Tom Miles, USBI and TR Miles Consulting (USA)
Maria del Pilar Noriega, Daabon (Colombia)
Andrea Maria Rizzo, RE-CORD (Italy)
José Dilcio Rocha, Embrapa Territorial, Campinas (Brazil)
Hamed Sanei, Aarhus University (Denmark)
Kristin Trippe, USDA (USA)
Rian Visser, TNO (Netherlands)
Liang Wang, SINTEF (Finland)

Conference Themes

  • History and log-term performance of bio-char: what can we learn from the past? Long-term monitored field studies. Bio-char impact on climate change
  • Sustainable feedstocks for bio-char production: characterization, pre-processing and suitability/response to thermal processing
  • Bio-char production processes
  • Bio-char reactor technologies
  • Bio-char characterization: relationships among feedstock, production technology and characteristics; analytical services for characterization and certification
  • Co-products of biochar production: a biorefinery approach
  • Bio-char physical and chemical post-processing (grinding, functionalization, activation
  • Bio-char applications: soil amendment, adsorbent, catalyst, filler for polymer and cement composites, electronic applications, anaerobic digestion, applications in steel and cement manufacturing, utilization in food/feed, health and cosmetics,
  • Bio-char handling, storage, markets and commercialization
  • Bio-char use sequences: integration of value chains in agricultural models and forestry
  • Mathematical modelling
  • Bio-char policies, regulations, standardization, sustainability assessment and carbon offsets credits
  • Case studies: success stories, failures, industrial implementations and lessons learned

Call for Abstracts

Abstracts submission for oral presentation: November 30, 2024
Abstract reviews completed and draft program: end of January 2025

Final Program: March 1, 2025

Abstracts submission for free-forum poster presentations: Ongoing until April 30, 2025

Venue Information

The conference will be held at the Santa Marta Marriott Playa Dormida Hotel. (Carrera 3, No 142-60 Bello Horizonte – Santa Marta, Colombia)

Santa Marta Marriott Playa Dormida Hotel

Santa Marta is the oldest city in Colombia, a city on the Caribbean Sea in the northern Colombian section of Magdalena. A busy port, it was also the first Spanish settlement in Colombia. It’s the gateway for trips into the Tayrona National Natural Park and for multiday guided treks to the Lost City (Teyuna) archaeological site in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains.  Its beautiful terrain is its most distinguishing feature.  The area has landscapes in which the green foliage, blue sea, yellow sun and sand, and the contrast between the beaches and the white-peaked Sierra Nevada, make for unforgettable memories. 

Santa Marta

Santa Marta has activities for everyone – whether enjoying the beach, bird-watching, or walking through the historic city of Tayrona. Santa Marts has an impressive legacy represented in its architecture and the streets of downtown Santa Marta which offer the ideal route for visiting the Cathedral, the museums, and the Bastidas Boardwalk. A favorite museum is the Sea Aquarium and Museum. There are about 30,000 people from the Kogi, Arhuaco, Kankuamo, and WIiwa indigenous ethnic groups that live in Santa Marta.  UNESCO declared the area a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site in 1979.

Santa Marta Aquarium

Santa Marta’s weather is warm with an average temperature of 82.4oF.  The city’s Simon Bolivar International Airport is located 15 minutes from Santa Marta’s historic center.  Taxis and buses are plentiful in the city.  For those who are looking forward to experiencing the local foods of the area, typical dishes include chipi chipi (clam soup), fried fish, patacones (fried green plantains), arroz con coco (coconut rice), and cocadas (coconut macaroons). 

Bird-Watching in Santa Marta

Citizens of certain countries need to present a tourist visa to gain entry. These can be processed at the Colombian embassies andconsulates abroad.  Check countries requiring visas at

General Information About ECI

Engineering Conferences International (ECI) is a not-for-profit, global engineering conferences program, originally established in 1962 that provides opportunities for the exploration of problems and issues of concern to engineers and scientists from many disciplines.

The format of the conference provides morning and late afternoon or evening sessions in which major presentations are made. Poster sessions will be scheduled for evening discussion as well. Available time is included during the afternoons for ad hoc meetings, informal discussions, and/or recreation. This format is designed to enhance rapport among participants and promote dialogue on the development of the meeting. We believe the conferences have been instrumental in generating ideas and disseminating information to a greater extent than is possible through more conventional forums.

All participants are expected both to attend the entire conference and to contribute actively to the discussions. The recording/photographing of lectures and presentations is forbidden. As ECI conferences take place in an informal atmosphere, casual clothing is the usual attire.

Smoking is prohibited at ECI conferences and conference functions.

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