News Article

RE-DIRECT final conference a success !

RE-DIRECT hosted its final conference - Biochar and Biomass Resource use for Resilient Rural Communities, on the 11th September 2019 at Ffarm Moelyci, Bangor, north Wales. There was an exciting programme of speakers, demonstrations and workshops.

Presentations can be downloaded below:

In the afternoon of the conference, Colin Keyse and Dr. Dave Ellis of  Cwm Harry gave a tour of the farm scale biomass to biochar plant located on the farm. This included the screw press module where the wet, silaged green material is separated into press cake and liquor; the biogas module where the liquor is digested to produce methane and CO2; and the combined heat and power unit that uses the biogas to create electricity and hot water used in the process. There was a mobile biochar kiln in operation (an Exeter Retort) to demonstrate the final step of the process - the conversion of press cake and other biomass to biochar, and an illustration of the types of product that can be made from the outputs. 

The demonstration was followed by the Product Development workshop which was based on Design Thinking methodology and was led by experts from the BLINC Cooperative and Innopreneurship Masters students from University Duisburg-Essen, Germany.  The one-hour workshop encouraged delegates to think outside the box to come up with innovative biochar products. Each delegate team was guided through unique innovation sports exercises by the students to develop creative ideas and connections. Afterwards the product ideas were pitched to the whole group and were evaluated by the other participants to find the winning team!  The session was fun and informative!

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