Adelaide Hills Biochar Initiative

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by Brian Lewis - December 28th, 2018.
Filed under: Articles.

A Community Biochar Centre is proposed for Macclesfield, South Australia that will convert dry organic waste from local households, landowners and businesses to biochar and thereby capture carbon, offset and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create voluntary carbon offsets to trade. Biochar is a form of charcoal and is good for the soil, good as an animal feed supplement, has numerous industrial uses and combats climate change by sequestering carbon. This proposal summarises the objectives, benefits and costs associated with a local biochar centre in Macclesfield. Registered suppliers of woody waste would receive a regular statement detailing the weight of carbon that they have sequestered and what that represents in terms of greenhouse gases averted. The Appendices to the proposal provide the detailed calculations used to justify the claims made, and also provide examples of the agreements needed, the methods to be used to minimise risk, and other factors relevant to the proposal.


• Receive tree litter and other organic debris (eg. prunings, off-cuts, woody weeds, etc ) from local
households, landowners, businesses and Council;
• Produce and sell biochar in bulk to retailers for local gardens, local horticulture, agriculture and other
local industrial uses;
• Sequester carbon and thereby accumulate carbon offsets;
• Trade carbon offsets with local consumers of non-renewable energy (eg: to offset local electricity
consumption, gas consumption and motor vehicle use);
• Demonstrate that a small community can make an important contribution to offsetting and reducing its
greenhouse gas emissions.


• Local households will not be charged for processing their woody waste.

• Local businesses and landowners will have the convenience of a local facility to process their woody waste
for a modest fee.

• Improved soils and more productive farms and gardens.

• The Community will potentially benefit from such a Centre by having a new business, with the potential for
local employment and associated services such as:
o a local waste pick-up service for registered users;
o local processing and packaging of biochar for special uses (eg animal feed supplements; water filters; air
filters; colouring; cosmetics, etc);
o local firewood supplier (to use the larger sizes of waste not suitable for biochar).

• The Centre is also likely to attract a great deal of outside interest as an example of what a small community
can do to combat climate change. Guided tours of the Centre will be offered to schools and various other
groups, all of which will contribute to increased commercial activity in the town.


The Biochar Centre will comprise:

• A cleared site outside the town boundaries on which will be located a receival shed, a drying shed, a semi-roofed operations area, a water supply, a packing/storage shed and an administration office.

• The receival shed will be used to sort the incoming waste into sizes and moisture content. Waste with moisture content greater than 15% will be moved to the drying shed. Each registered user will be allocated a dedicated storage area.

• The drying shed will contain racks on which waste can be stored so as to facilitate drying by air circulation. The shed walls and roof will be designed to encourage air circulation and the exclusion of rain.

• The operations area will contain a number of small to medium sized kilns (0.2 to 0.5 m³ capacity) of the flame-cap style. These kilns are virtually smoke-free and burn the tars and gases that arise during pyrolysis leaving only the char.

• The water supply will be from a rainwater tank collecting rain from the shed roofs. The water will be used for quenching the char and together with a petrol-driven pump serve as a source of fire water in an emergency. After quenching, the char will be allowed to drain before being transferred to bags. The drain water will be collected and re-used.

• The packing/storage shed will be used to pack the char into bags or other forms of container as needed and store them for sale or disposal as the case may be. This area will also be used to crush excessively large lumps of char to facilitate packing and later use.

• The administration office will register each user of the Centre and maintain an inventory of the biochar and carbon offsets arising from the feedstock each has supplied. Each registered user will be issued a quarterly statement showing the following items:

 Number of deliveries;
 Dry weight of biochar produced;
 Weight of carbon dioxide captured;
 Number of kWhr of electricity whose greenhouse gas emissions have been offset;
 Amount payable by or to the user.

• A number of volunteer operators to man the Centre. Each operator will be trained in the principles of pyrolysis and flame-cap kilns. There will be a strict emphasis on Risk Analysis and the rules governing when operations will be permitted or not. Safety equipment and protective clothing will be supplied to each operator.

Householders living within the Macclesfield town centre (where burning is no longer permitted without a permit) will be able to take their garden woody waste and free up much needed space in their green bins. There will be no charge to those Macclesfield residents who register for this service.

Landowners in the Macclesfield region and local businesses such as saw-millers, furniture manufacturers, crate and pallet makers, post makers, carpenters & joiners, builders, wood products suppliers etc will be able to take their offcuts (provided they are untreated and still purely organic) to the Centre. They will incur a small charge for the service.

Fees and charges will be set so as to cover the costs of operating the Centre. Any profits from the operations of the Centre will initially be used to transfer volunteers to employee status.

All waste suppliers will be registered and required to sign an Agreement covering the terms and conditions of use. If any waste is found to be non-organic then penalties will apply. See Appendix 1.

The operation of the kilns will be carried out by trained volunteers who will ensure that particulate emissions are virtually nil. The resulting biochar will comply with the latest biochar methodology when approved by the Climate Change Department for the creation of carbon credits.

Biochar production will be strictly controlled for safety, health and quality of the final product. Periodically samples of the biochar will be taken for analysis of carbon content, ash content, volatiles content, moisture content, water holding capacity, etc.

Bulk packaging of the biochar for use in soil and/or compost improvement will be carried out on site and where necessary the biochar will be crushed to a particle size that is suitable for soil or compost addition.

The biochar will be offered for sale at the current wholesale market prices. The following sale categories are proposed:

a) Wholesale to biochar retailers (eg garden centres);
b) Wholesale to other local biochar producers;
c) By special arrangement with industrial users.

If any of the output from the Centre is used as cooking charcoal (which may be appropriate at times) then it would NOT be classified as biochar and would not be eligible for carbon credits.

The weight of biochar produced will be used together with the analysis of carbon content etc to compute the weight of greenhouse gases avoided. One carbon credit will be claimed for each tonne of greenhouse gas abatement achieved. Appendix 2 shows the type of calculation involved.


It is proposed that the Biochar Centre be operated as a not-for-profit (NFP) organization with status as a deductible gift recipient (DGR); i.e. entitled to receive tax-deductible gifts.


• Site cost: Nominal rental for say 0.5 acre site just outside the town boundary of Macclesfield: $500 per
annum. Alternatively if a portion of the existing Crown land was used (eg part of the agistment paddocks
alongside Pound road) it is probable that any rental would be waived subject to the project being not-for-

• Site preparation (eg earthworks, gates, signage etc): $1500.

• Sheds: Material costs (voluntary labour to erect) $5000.

• Kilns: Initially say 6 x 0.25m³ flame cap kilns @ $200 each………..$1200.00.

• Water Tank: $1800.00

• Petrol-driven pump & fire hose: $3000.

• Laptop computer: $1500.

• Insurance: $5000. It is hoped that Council would be able to cover this under its existing policies. The
perceived risk would be no greater than that posed by Council’s existing rubbish disposal facility.

• Contingencies: $1000.

Estimated total outlay in first year: $20 000.00.


In the first year of operation a conservative estimate of production weight of dry biochar is 22.5 tonnes. The calculation is as follows:

No. of operating days per annum: 60 (allowing for rain and fire bans)
No. of kilns processed per day: 6
Volume of each kiln: 0.25 cu.m.
Average bulk density of dry biochar: 250 kg/cu.m

Therefore weight of dry biochar per kiln: 62.5 kg
Total weight of biochar produced in 1st year:
60 x 6 x 62.5 = 22500kg or 22.5 tonnes.


Waste processing fees:

Large amounts of woody waste from businesses will be charged a processing fee. The fee will need to be competitive with the cost of other means of disposal available to them (eg skip hire, etc). The fee will need to be structured according to the volume, type and dimensions of the waste.

Biochar sales:

The typical market price of bulk biochar: $1000 per tonne. So if all the biochar can be sold, then sales revenue in 1st year could possibly be: $22,500.
However it will take time to establish a solid base of customers, and to establish credibility with those that require a reliable supply source to satisfy their on-going production needs.

The following market sectors will be pursued:

Biochar retailers.
Garden Centres.
Compost and soil suppliers.
Agrifeed suppliers.
Soil remediation contractors.
Storm & waste water filtration system suppliers.

Off-site production:

Where a landowner prefers to process his woody waste on his own property (eg to avoid loading and cartage costs) and use the resulting biochar directly on his own land the Centre will offer a service to manage the production of the biochar on a contract basis. The use of the Centre’s expertise and production accounting methods will ensure that the biochar so made can be counted towards the Centre’s total production.

Equipment Hire:

Spare kilns will be made available to hire out to local households and landowners for a hire fee to allow them to make their own biochar on their own land for their own use. However the biochar so made will not be counted towards the Centre’s total production nor will it be creditable towards carbon offsets.

Biochar carbon offsets:

Based on the first year’s target production of 22.5 tonnes of biochar, the Centre will claim 61.7 biochar specific carbon offsets.
The calculation is 22.5 x 0.75 x 3.66 = 61.7.
A certificate will be produced for each 1 tonne carbon offset.
Certificates will be made available for sale to anyone who wishes to defray their carbon emissions. (However it must be stressed that at this point in time biochar specific carbon offsets are not legal currency. If and when they do become officially recognized it will be important that the certificates that we have issued can be traced back to us (wherever they are, and whoever has bought them) and can be verified.

Alternatively a simplified system could be offered whereby carbon offset certificates are only sold locally and are only allowed to be used to offset local emissions. An example could be a local fuel retailer who applies carbon offsets to his fuel sales. The price increment paid by the motorist for carbon neutral fuel would be minor and comparable to the normal fluctuations in the retail price of petrol.

The sale price of such carbon offset certificates will be determined by market demand. At this time they can be expected to sell for $50 – $60 each.

Training courses:

Training courses will be offered on biochar basics; biochar production; and biochar uses, including preparation and application for soil improvement.

Guided Tours:

Guided tours of the Centre will be offered to anyone that wants to see biochar production in progress and learn about the operations of such a Centre.


Smoke and/or particulate pollution.

The methods to be used to make biochar will exclude retorts of any kind and therefore will avoid the possibility of large dark smoke emissions that can arise if the gases from the retort are not fully combusted. The dominant method to be used is known as ‘flame-capping’ in which the feedstock is pyrolysed in an open vessel or pit designed to allow air only to the top layer of feedstock. Thus the top layer burns, and in so doing burns off all the gases, heating the layers below that are starved of air and so producing biochar with a low level of tar and other volatiles. This method is characterized by very low smoke emissions, mainly during the first few minutes of start-up. For the same reasons the level of particulate emission is very low; i.e because the flames consume virtually all the emissions; so no dark smoke can occur.

Fire hazard.

The risk of fire escaping from the facility will be mitigated in a number of ways:

o No operation on days of extreme fire danger or above.
o Strict adherence to risk analysis protocols for each and every operation.
o On-site fire-fighting equipment.
o Low probability of ember emission when using ‘flame-capping’.


The level of noise is expected to be low at all times. Feedstock will be supplied cut to size so no chain-sawing is expected to be needed on-site.


Deliveries of feedstock will be limited to normal business hours.

Competition with local producer(s).

The Centre will not compete with local producers. Rather it is hoped that the Centre’s operations will augment local producers by acting as a wholesale supplier to them, and increasing public awareness of biochar. It is also planned to build special relations with industrial suppliers of feedstock (eg forest waste) and industrial users of biochar (eg filter manufacturers). Currently the only local producer is an enthusiastic supporter of this proposal.

Volunteers are inappropriate for an operational on-going business.

This would be true if the business was commercially viable (i.e. profitable).

The problem has been and still is that the production of biochar on a large scale (which is what we want from this Centre) is either labour intensive or is capital intensive or both. We plan to avoid major capital expenditure by restricting production to the flame-cap method. This is also a very clean method. But the method is labour intensive; hence its popularity in developing countries and in backyards. So the only feasible business model at present is to rely on volunteer labour.

Many young people are likely to support this project but NOT as unpaid volunteers.

Where the project is for the community good a not-for-profit business model is a reasonable approach. While the business is in its early stages it may need to rely on volunteer labour. Hopefully as the business grows its revenue will reach the point where workers can be paid a regular wage.


Implementation of this proposal will proceed as follows:

• Obtain local support in principle for the Plan;
• Form a steering committee from each of the following sectors:
a) Local Council;
b) Biochar retailers eg: Garden centres;
c) Biochar users eg: Compost manufacturers;
d) Feedstock suppliers (eg forestry);
e) Biochar wholesalers/producers.
• Issue a Project Plan for community consultation;
• Obtain expressions of interest from potential users of the biochar, in particular from local agribusiness and
• Register the organization.
• Launch the website.
• Obtain all necessary Council and EPA approvals.
• Obtain necessary start-up funds.
• Select and acquire a suitable site.
• Erect facilities.
• Recruit volunteers.
• Conduct training courses.
• Conduct trials.
• Commence operations.


In-principle support of this proposal is now being sought from stakeholders and community groups in Macclesfield. This support is necessary for the project to proceed.

If positive feedback is received from the community then a Steering Committee will be formed to take the project forward.

If you support this proposal please leave a comment to that effect. Constructive comments will also be most welcome.

1. Australian Government. Department of the Environment and Energy. National Greenhouse Accounts Factors July

2. Biochar production for carbon sequestration. Allyson Stoyle. 15 March 2011.

3. Using biochar systems to sequester carbon. AgMRC Renewable Energy Newsletter, January 2010.


5. https://youtube/j5jo4yC6H1g?t=490


1. Supply Agreement Template.
2. Calculations.
3. Characteristics of preferred feedstocks.
4. Risk analysis template.
5. “Permit to Operate” pro-forma.
6. Supplier Summary Spreadsheet Template.
7. Supplier Statement Template.
8. Potential Customers.
9. Similar Projects.
10. Supporter’s Statements.
11. Questions & Answers.


An AGREEMENT dated ……………….…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
between Macclesfield Community Biochar Centre Inc., of Macclesfield SA 5153 AUSTRALIA and email address ……………………………………………………..(hereinafter referred to as the Centre) and
Full Name ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
of Address (optional)…………………………………………………………………………………………..……………………………………………………….

and email address ……………………………………………………..…………….(hereinafter referred to as the Supplier)

to allow the use of the Supplier’s feedstock (hereinafter referred to as the Feedstock) by the Centre for the production and disposal of biochar and to set out the terms and conditions of such Agreement.
The Supplier certifies that:
1. The Supplier wholly owns the Feedstock.
2. The Supplier is legally entitled to supply the Feedstock for disposal.
3. The Feedstock is wholly organic in nature and does NOT contain any vestiges of inorganic material.
And accordingly it is agreed as follows:
1. The Supplier will provide the Feedstock to the Centre without charge.
2. The Centre will convert the Feedstock to biochar and may sell or otherwise dispose of the biochar as it sees
3. The Supplier absolves the Centre of any legal liability whatsoever that may arise from the use by others of
the biochar produced from the Feedstock and warrants that the Feedstock does not contain any inorganic
4. The Centre will provide a quarterly statement to the Supplier via email setting out a summary of the
deliveries of Feedstock, the amount of biochar produced, and the amount of carbon dioxide captured.
5. This Agreement is an exclusive agreement between the Centre and the Supplier.
6. The term of this Agreement is 12 months from the date of the Agreement.
7. On the expiration of the term of this Agreement, and each extension thereof, it shall be automatically
extended and renewed for a further 12 months unless terminated by advice via email from either party.
8. The Centre may terminate this Agreement at any time via email for any reason.

I AGREE ………………………………………………………… (Supplier) Witness …………………………………………………………………

I AGREE ………………………………………………………………(Centre) Witness ………………………………………………………………….


For example:

If there are 100 registered users,
and each user delivers on average 1 load of 0.5³m each per month,
each load producing, say, 15kg dry biochar,
with a carbon conversion efficiency of 75%
then the weight of carbon captured will be 100 x 15kg x 12 x 75%
= 13,500 kg/annum.

As each mass unit of carbon captures 3.66 mass units of carbon dioxide then in terms of kg of carbon dioxide this corresponds to 13,500 x 3.66 kg
= 49,410 kg
= 49.41 tonnes/annum.

The offset potential of this amount of carbon dioxide in terms of electricity generation from fossil fueled power stations in South Australia can be calculated as follows:

In South Australia (Ref.1) the emissions factor (EF) for the State grid is 0.51 kgCO2-ₑ per kilowatthour of electricity consumed.

Y =Q x EF/1000
Y = emissions attributable to the quantity of electricity purchased measured in CO2-ₑ tonnes;
Q = quantity of electricity purchased in kilowatthours.
EF = emissions factor for the State grid;

So if Y = 49.41 tonnes/annum
And EF = 0.51
Q = 49.41 x 1000/0.51 kWhr/annum

= 96.88 MWhrs/annum.

Surely this is a worthwhile target in terms of carbon abatement by a single small community together with the other indirect benefits from the use of biochar to enhance soil quality and improve plant yields.


The following list of characteristics of preferred feedstocks is intended as a guide based on the Centre’s kilns currently in use and may be altered in the future as the Centre’s facilities evolve.

CURRENTLY: The feedstock supplied must comply with the following requirements:

Temperature: Ambient.
Moisture Content: <15%. See note 1. Size: <100 mm diameter and < 750 mm long. See note 2. Toxicity: Nil. See note 3. Packing density: Medium. See note 4. Origin: Local. See note 5. Notes:
1. Higher moisture levels cause the pyrolysis process to take more time as more heat is needed to drive off the excess moisture. The thickness and density of the feedstock determines how long it will take to dry off. Clearly bamboo-type feedstock will dry out within a few weeks whereas tree prunings and timber offcuts may take up to a year when stored out of the weather.

2. Larger items will take longer to pyrolyse than smaller items. Furthermore after processing, the item volume is much the same as it was at the start, so if items are large, crushing may be needed to make them suitable for spreading or mixing with other materials (eg compost). However it is expected that the demand for converting larger items will come from foresters and farmers and will need to be addressed. This can be done by making fire-pits customised for the lengths of feedstock supplied.

3. It is very important that no plastics, no metals, and no chemically hazardous residues are allowed to contaminate the feedstock as any such hazardous residues will become fixed in the charcoal produced and render it unable to be classified as biochar. Examples of commonly encountered hazardous materials are: Plastics; Painted wood; Creosote; Permapine.

4. The packing density of the feedstock increases as the particle/lump size decreases and/or the shape of the particles/lumps allows less air gap between them. For example wood chips have a higher packing density than twigs. Similarly, sawdust pellets have a very high packing density as the pellets are already compressed and the pellets tend to pack together very well. However low packing density (eg logs etc) requires a longer cooking time. So the ideal packing density is medium as with branches less than 100mm in diameter.
Packing density
Low Medium High
Logs Offcuts Wood chips
Branches Blocks Sawdust
Twigs Sawdust pellets

5. The feedstock must originate locally otherwise the benefits of carbon sequestration gained by the production of biochar may be partially or wholly offset by the carbon emissions generated by transportation of the feedstock to the Centre. If there is any significant work needed to make the feedstock available (eg. harvesting, transport, cutting etc) and this work requires the use of machinery that operates using fossil fuels or from electricity generated by fossil fuels then it can be argued that the carbon emissions so generated must be calculated and offset against any perceived benefit from the production of biochar. This is part of the reason why agricultural residues (eg waste timber from forest plantations and saw mills; vine prunings from vineyards; tree prunings from fruit or nut orchards) are a preferred feedstock for biochar production provided the biochar kiln is located at or adjacent to the plantation, saw mill, vineyard or orchard.


Name(s): (of assessors; include name and position of employee, management rep, health and safety rep and/or contractor)
Date: / /


Description of activity:

Location of task: ———————————————————————————————————————

Permit to work requirement: Yes No Approved by: (name and position)
(If Yes add type of permits required to Tasks Column)

List the tasks required to perform the activity in the sequence they are carried out.
Against each task list the hazards that could cause injury when the task is performed.
Risk Control Measures:
List the control measures required to eliminate or minimize the risk of injury arising from the identified hazard.
Write the name of the person responsible (supervisor or above) to implement the control measure identified.

For example:
Firing up: Burns
Stoking: Burns; smoke

SIGNATURES (where applicable)

Manager: Employee:

HSR: Contractor/s:
PERSONNEL INDUCTED: (Signatures of employees trained in the work covered by this JSA. Add pages as necessary) EMPLOYER: (Name of Company)

NAME: (Please print)
DATE: / /



TASK COMMENCED: ………………..AM/PM………………………………/…… /…… /…………

TASK COMPLETED: ……………………AM/PM ……………………………../……/……/……….….




Supplier No.
Supplier Type:
Household Yes/No
Commercial Yes/No
Delivery Dates Feedstock Type Volume (m3) Dry Biochar (kg) Operator



From: To:
Supplier type
Feedstock type: Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Type 4 Totals
Volume (m3)
Dry biochar (kg)
CO2 avoided (kg)
KWhr offset
Amount payable ($)


The applications of biochar are too numerous to completely list here. However the most appropriate to our location are the following:

• Stock feed supplement.
• Soil amelioration.
• Seed mix supplement.
• Water filtration.
• Odour reduction.
• Tree litter disposal.

Building industry:
• Concrete colouring.
• Plaster supplement: for electromagnetic screening.
• Air filtration (odour reduction).

• Waste disposal
• Emission reductions.

• Soil Suppliers & Compost manufacturers:

Local Government:
• Disposal of roadside tree litter
• Disposal of tree prunings
• Storm water filtration.


• Community Production Case Study: Waldron Island. Biochar production for forestry, farms and communities. Kai Hoffman-Krull. Published by Northwest Natural Resource Group.

This paper is available as a pdf and provides many insights into the practicalities of on-site biochar production on a large scale using flame-cap kilns.

• H500, West Bengal, India.

Dr. Paul Anderson, PhD, Exec. Dir. Of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP stated in an email to on 26/11/18:

“Carbon that is sequestered as biochar should receive financial rewards”. HOW to do that? Dr. Anderson explained:

“The UNFCC and Gold Standard and other mechanisms for selling carbon credits do not allow for recognition and financial compensation for char into soil. So, for the near and medium future, that avenue is not open to us. However, VOLUNTARY contributions for carbon offsets (i.e. accomplished CO2e reduction but without recognition as carbon credits) is possible. People can put their money wherever they want to spend it. (Whereas Governments and large corporations that need official credits cannot.)
The need is for a mechanism of reasonable documentation and proof of carbon being extracted from the atmosphere (plant growth and then pyrolysis yields charcoal) AND THEN the charcoal going into the soil. This is an ideal situation for the use of blockchain (distributed ledger technology), Ref. 4. Immutable records are created and used with appropriate 3rd party verification and certification. This is done with appropriate charcoal that becomes available to be sold. This is precisely what is being implemented in the final months of 2018 for a project in West Bengal, India. The project is called H500 because it uses 500 TLUD (Top-Lit, Up-Draft) char-producing cook-stoves.”

Sales of charcoal-specific carbon offsets from the H500 project are expected by January 2019.

• The Tenkawang Factory, Borneo.

This project can be viewed at:

• The Warm Heart Project, Thailand.

Design details and operation of their flame cap troughs can be viewed at


I’ve given your proposal a quick once over and think it’s a great idea with the capacity to involve the wider community in a way that is not currently possible. It would also help to spread awareness of climate change, greenhouse gasses, carbon sequestration and biochar. The effort required to get something like this off the ground is considerable, but I can see it providing a real service. I would be open to using it as a source of biochar to augment my own efforts in producing the stuff. Keep up the good work,

Greg Marlu
SA Biochar Works
Thank you for introducing the CBC initiative to Maccy. What better time to implement such a practical way for folk to understand its purpose and necessity locally? It looks like a well thought out written proposal.

It just so happens that my nephew Michael Durant and his wife Alex are living, albeit, temporarily in Maccy……………….Both hold positions in Land care and management and I know they will be interested in your proposal. There may be some channels to explore with the people they know through their work (grant possibilities etc). Alex’s father has been instrumental in all matters of land conservation on KI for decades. I will send this information to them for a look anyway and I’ll get the word out to those I believe may understand the importance of this.

Is it possible to put up a similar info post on Facebook? I can send it to many more there too, local groups etc.

I’m in Brian. What do I need to do to sign up?

Karin Foxwell.

Local Dairy Farmer Ted ……………. said: “I spend a fair bit of time gathering up tree litter and stacking in piles to burn at a later date so it would be a great help to me to simply pile it in my truck and take it to the Centre for them to deal with. Provided the charge for this service is reasonably minimal I would support it. And I would be doing my little bit to help capture carbon. If this also allowed me to earn tradeable carbon offsets I would be even more interested.”


1. How many days will this proposed Centre be open and what will be the opening hours?

It is too early to give an exact answer. It will depend on the demand for the service and products it will offer. When the Centre is open for receivals it is likely that, for safety reasons, there will be no firing allowed. So it may happen that initially firing will take place during the week as needed; and receivals will take place at the weekend. The total number of operating days will depend also on the weather and fire restrictions. The opening hours are likely to be normal business hours.

2. Will the Centre cover the volunteer’s insurance?

Yes. Personal accident insurance will be essential; as also will be public liability insurance and professional indemnity for the directors.

3. How many volunteers would you require to operate the Centre?

Typically 5 comprising:
1 supervisor.
1 bookkeeper/administrator.
3 operators.

4. Would you consider making these kilns for people’s home yards?

No; but the plans for a typical small Kontiki flame-cap kiln are available at no cost
at: under Maccy-Kontiki Charcoal Maker. Also the Maccy Mens Shed is considering making such
kilns to sell. We do support people making their own biochar in their backyard but there are some issues to note
as follows:

a. If you live in a township you will need a Council permit to make a fire in the open. Such permits take a
couple of weeks to get and usually last for only a month.
b. Biochar made at home is not verifiable and so cannot be accreditable. Whereas biochar made at the proposed
Centre will be fully documented and contribute to the calculation of Macclesfield’s carbon status plus the
carbon status of each of its registered suppliers.
c. A flame-cap kiln needs to be operated correctly to ensure clean operation and good quality biochar. So it
would be sensible to take advice from those who know before you ‘give-it-a-go’. The Centre will be offering
training courses to satisfy this need.

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