Bio-Char II: Production, Characterization and Applications

An ECI Conference Series

September 15-20, 2019
Grand Hotel San Michele
Cetraro (Calabria), Italy

Important Information for Participants — Know Before You Go

The conference hotel is sold out.  Only registration without hotel accommodations remains available.  Please contact kathy Chan ( for more information.

Final Program with Posters

Register Now!

Call for Abstracts!   Deadlines:   Oral-  Closed    Poster-  Jul. 31, 2019

Posters should be printed in A0 size, portrait format (84 cm wide by 118 cm high)

Visa for Italy

Please send this link to colleagues who may be interested in the conference topic.

About This Conference

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 nutrient leaching and water contamination and retain soil moisture. As a result, bio-char can be 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, etc. Bio-char properties depend on the biomass feedstock used as well as the operating conditions used for its production.  Moreover, these properties can be manipulated by pre- and post-processing. By understanding and controlling these factors, it is possible to create value-added “designer biochars” for specific applications.

The interest in bio-char has been booming all over the world.  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.

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

Main Themes and Proposed Sessions:

  • History and long-term performance of bio-char: what can we learn from the past? Long-term monitored field studies
  • Sustainable feedstocks for bio-char production: characterization, pre-processing and suitability/response to thermal processing
  • Bio-char production processes: from torrefaction, slow and fast pyrolysis, gasification and hydrothermal processing
  • Bio-char characterization: relationships among feedstock, production technology and characteristics
  • Bio-char reactor technologies
  • Co-products of biochar production: a biorefinery approach
  • Bio-char physical and chemical post-processing (grinding, functionalization, activation
  • Bio-char applications: soil amendments, adsorbents, catalysts, fillers for composites, electronic applications
  • Bio-char handling, storage, markets and commercialization
  • Bio-char use sequences: integration of value chains in agricultural models and forestry
  • Bio-char policies, regulations, and standardization
  • Case studies: success stories, failures, and lessons learned
  • Biochar and climate change


The format of the conference will be the “retreat-style Banff-format”. There will be no parallel sessions in order to allow all participants to be exposed to and contribute to all presentations. Apart from four plenary lectures of 30 minutes each, the regular contributions will consist of short oral presentations (10 minutes + 2 minutes for change of speaker). Each presentation, however, will also be accompanies by a poster, to be presented normally during the social hour after dinner. The poster session will allow ample time for questions and answers and informal discussion between presenter and interested participants. Additional free-forum poster presentations will also be invited.

Networking time will be encouraged during each afternoon. This will allow participants to engage in informal discussions and to spend time together enjoying the many beautiful outdoor activities available at the venue.

The proposed program is as follows:

Typical Day (Monday – Tuesday – Wednesday):

(Note: Thursday will not have late afternoon presentations BUT there will be a poster session/refreshments before the evening banquet; Friday will be morning only plus posters but no plenary):

  • 8:00 am start with plenary (30 minutes)
  • 8:30 am to 12:30 pm: short presentations (10 min + 2 min) with a 30 minute coffee break at 10:00 am (total of 18 presentations)
  • 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm lunch
  • 1:30 pm to 5:00 pm networking/ad hoc discussions
  • 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm short presentations (10 min + 2 min) (total of 10 presentations)
  • 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm dinner
  • 8:30 pm to 10:30 pm posters for each of the 28 presentations of the day plus extra room for ~ 15 free forum posters and social hours – 43 poster spaces (each ~ 4 ft wide – 4 ft long = 2 posters for each side of 8 x 4 board)

Information on the most recent conference on this topic.

Conference Organization


Franco Berruti (Western University, London, Ontario, Canada)
David Chiaramonti (RE-CORD, University of Firenze, Italy)
Ondrej Masek (University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK)
Manuel Garcia-Perez (Washington State University, USA)

Scientific Committee:

Muhammad Afzal (University of New Brunswick), Canada
Silvia Baronti (CNR, Firenze, Italy)
David Chiaramonti (Universita’ di Firenze, Italy)
Ajay Dalai (University of Saskatchewan), Canada
Capucine Dupont (IHE Delft Institute, The Netherlands)
Daniele Fabbri (Universita’ di Bologna, Italy)
Silvia Fiore (Politecnico di Torino, Italy)
Lydia Fryda, TNO, The Netherlands
Manuel Garcia-Perez (Washington State University), USA
Lorenzo Genesio (CNR, Firenze, Italy)
Mauro Giorcelli (Politecnico di Torino, Italy)
Bruno Glaser (Martin Luther University, Germany)
Carlo Grignani (Universita’ degli Studi di Torino, Italy)
Kelly Hawboldt (Memorial University of Newfoundland), Canada
Johannes Lehmann (Cornell University), USA
Franco Miglietta (CNR, Firenze, Italy)
Tom Miles (US Biochar Initiative and International Biochar Initiative), USA
Raffaella Ocone (Heriot-Watt University, UK)
Maren Oelbermann (University of Waterloo), Canada
Joan Manya’ (University of Zaragoza, Spain)
Andrea Maria Rizzo (RE-CORD, Italy)
Saran Sohi (University of Edinburgh, UK)
Shahab Sokhansanj (UBC), Canada
Alberto Tagliaferro (Politecnico di Torino, Italy)
Magda Titirici (Queen Mary University of London, UK)
Francesco Vaccari (CNR, Firenze, Italy)
Rian H.J.M. Visser, TNO, The Netherlands
Chi-Hwa Wang, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Paul de Wild (ECN, The Netherlands)

Call for Abstracts/Publications

One-page abstracts should be submitted as soon as possible and no later than the deadlines noted below.  The abstract should include both the significance of the research as well as results that will be discussed to allow a scientific assessment of the work by the organizers. Note that all accepted abstracts will be presented both orally and as a poster.

Deadline for abstracts:                                                    Closed
Deadline for abstracts for free-forum posters:                Ongoing until July 31, 2019

Posters should be printed in A0 size, portrait format (84 cm wide by 118 cm high)

Please prepared your abstract according to this template: docx or doc.

All abstracts should be submitted electronically and submissions must follow the template provided at this link.

There will be a poster competition for the Best Student Poster and Best Overall Poster.


  • Possible publication of PowerPoint presentations in the ECI Digital Archives.
  • Invitation for full paper submission in a special issue of an internationally recognized refereed journal.

A special issue of Applied Energy ( will welcome full manuscript submissions of contributions to this conference.

Conference Venue

Cetraro and Grand Hotel San Michele

The conference hotel is sold out.  Only registration without hotel accommodations remains available.  Please contact kathy Chan ( for more information.

Cetraro Marina, a pleasant seaside resort is about two km from the Cetraro Commune of which it is a part.  The ancient Citrarium (name derived from the abundant citrus cultivation in the area) was a center of the Bruzi rising between Paola and Capo Bonifati.  Its coast location offers many interesting boat excursions.

The picturesque Grand Hotel San Michele ( is situated on the Tyrrhenian Coast, 120 meters above the Mediterranean Sea, with a fantastic view of Calabria’s southern coast.  It offers visitors one of the prettiest locations Southern Italy has to offer and is considered by many to be one of Calabria’s finest hotels.  Its beach (120 meters below the cliffs) is accessible only by a private special elevator.  The hotel has a swimming pool, driving range, tennis court, minigolf, piano bar and billiard room.

The hotel is surrounded by an organic farm that provides the hotel with fresh organic food.  Vegetables, fruits, olive oil, wine, milk, cheese, daily laid eggs, lamb, veal and pork meat, homemade jams and preserves are all produced on San Michele Hotel’s premises.

The acreage upon which the hotel is situated is also a bird sanctuary, where bird lovers from around Italy come to observe migratory patterns.

The maximum number of people that can be hosted in the hotel is about 80; however, there are other hotels in the area and the hotel can arrange pickups.


Cetraro (Calabria), Italy

Airline: The conference hotel can arrange transfers from Lamezia Terme Airport (SUF) to the hotel on Sunday, September 15, and transfers from the hotel to the airport on Friday, September 20. The cost will vary depending upon the number of attendees traveling together at the same time. The costs of transfers will be shared among those in the same vehicles. The costs are:

Car: 90 € (Up to 3  passengers) (1 passenger is 90 €; 2 passengers are 45 €/passenger;  3 passengers are 30 €/passenger)

Minibus: 122 €: (up to 8 passengers – cost shared by number of passengers

The cost will be billed to your incidental room charges.

Please note that for night shuttle services (between 1.00 am and 5.00 am) there is a 30 € supplement.

Note that if you arriving earlier than September 15 or plan to stay after the conference, the hotel can arrange transportation but most likely it will be on an individual basis.

If you would like to arrange a transfer, please email the following information:

– your name
– your email
– flight arrival and departure dates
– name of Airline, flight numbers, scheduled arrival/departure times
– number of people you are booking

to: no later than September 10.  

Please note that you are attending the ECI conference from September 15-20.

The airport is 75 km from the hotel.

Train: The Paola Railway station is about 21 km from the hotel by ItaliaRail.  Please email by September 1 to arrange for a transfer to the hotel.

Auto: Use the Motorway Roma – Caserta Sud – Salarno – Lagonegro Nord – Fondo Valle Noce.  (293 km)

Conference Fees and Registration

Conference Fees

All conference fees are inclusive. They include registration, accommodations (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights), all meals and taxes from dinner on Sunday through the lunch on Friday. The hotel will bill Incidental fees (minibar, laundry, etc.) to your personal account.


The conference fees are:

Register on or before September 2, 2019 Register after

September 2, 2019

Participant (single occupancy or sharing room with a guest; guest fee additional) US $1,685.00 US $1,885.00
Participant (sharing a room with another participant) US $1,555.00 US $1,755.00
Bona fide Graduate Student (sharing a room with another student) (Those in this category must send proof of current status – copy of current Student ID can be faxed to 1-212-514-6030 or emailed to US $1,145.00 US $1,145.00
**Fees for Guest/accompanying person sharing bedroom with single occupancy participant. (A guest badge will be issued and this fee includes all conference meals and the excursion) US $ 590.00 US $ 590.00

If you plan to bring children to the conference, please contact ECI ( for pricing.

Conference Registration

You will need a login name and password to register for ECI conferences through our online system. If you have been a recent participant at an ECI conference or have submitted an online application or request for information about an ECI Conference, you may already have an account with us. If you know your login information, please use it.

If you are not certain if you already have a login and password, please click on automated password retrieval and enter your e-mail address before creating a new account. If we do not have a valid email address on file for you, a pop up window will appear stating that no records were located. Click “OK” and then follow the instructions to create a new account.

If you have any questions or experience any difficulties, please email

Special Notes for Payment

We suggest that you register as soon as possible to be certain that you will have a hotel room at the conference rate.  Late registrations will be accepted on a space available basis and late registrants may be housed in a nearby hotel.

All participants are encouraged to register before August 15, 2019.  There is a discounted price for registering before this date.  Hotel space cannot be guaranteed for registrations received after this date.  Your registration is not officially confirmed until we receive payment of the amount due.  ECI reserves the right to cancel your room registration if payment is not received. Your invoice/receipt will automatically be e-mailed upon of receipt of your registration.  Should you need a signed receipt, please contact Kathy Chan (

Because of contractual guarantees made with the hotel for room and meal functions, no shows, late arrivals, missed meals and early departures cannot receive fee adjustments.  If you have a disability and may require accommodation in order to participate fully in this conference, please indicate this when you register. An ECI representative will contact you to discuss your specific needs. If you have special dietary requirements (e.g., vegetarian or a food allergy), please make a note on your registration.  The chef needs to know this information in advance if we are to accommodate you. ECI will attempt to accommodate special requests such as Kosher or Halal meals, but such meals may not be available at all conference sites. The participant must pay any additional costs for special meal requests to ECI.

Payment must be made by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, and Amex), check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank in U.S. dollars, payable to ENGINEERING CONFERENCES INTERNATIONAL. Checks or money orders in any other currencies are NOT ACCEPTABLE.  Payment must be made on the web site except for those who are sending payment by wire transfer or have a purchase order from their company/institution.

WIRE TRANSFER PAYMENT: If you are planning to make payment by wire transfer, please contact ECI for the bank information. You must add $30 to cover ECI bank charges. Please reference your full name and the conference title.  Either fax a copy of your bank transfer papers to ECI (Fax: +1-212-514-6030) or email a scanned copy to  This is very important – otherwise it is extremely difficult to trace your payment and you may not receive a receipt prior to the conference.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellation must be received by ECI in writing at least 28 days prior to the start of the conference in order for a full refund (less a processing fee) to be considered. The ECI auditors require that refunds for all conference cancellations be processed after the conference so that the necessary back-up information (e.g., hotel list of those in-house) can be attached to the refund request and ECI can verify that the hotel has not charged a cancellation fee.

Cancellation fees:

  • Cancellations received more than 28 days prior to the conference start date are subject to a processing fee of 4% of the total fee, plus any direct expenses incurred by ECI.
  • Cancellations received 15 – 28 days prior to the conference start date are subject to a $250 cancellation fee plus any direct expenses incurred by ECI.
  • Cancellations received 8 – 14 days prior to the conference start date are subject to a $500 cancellation fee plus any direct expenses incurred by ECI.
  • No refunds will be issued for cancellations received less than 7 days prior to the conference start date.
  • No refunds will be issued due to inclement weather or travel disruptions/cancellations.

Registrations may be transferred without incurring any penalty or cancellation fee.

Denied or delayed visa

If a participant is forced to cancel due to a denied or delayed entry visa, ECI will issue a full refund if ECI has been notified of a potential visa issue at least four weeks prior to the conference start date.

Change of payment method

If an attendee who has already paid the conference fee with a credit card requests that the fee be refunded to that card so that it can be paid in a different manner (e.g., charged to an alternate credit card, or paid via check or bank transfer), a processing fee of 4% of the total fee amount will apply.


It may be necessary for reasons beyond the control of ECI to alter the content and timing of the program or the identity of the speakers. In the unfortunate circumstance that an event is cancelled, ECI is not liable for any costs incurred by participants in connection with their attendance.

Smoking is prohibited at ECI conferences and conference functions.

Should you have specific questions regarding your registration, please contact Kathy Chan (

Preliminary Program

Please use This Link to view the final program and posters.

Register Now!

Please use THIS LINK to register for this conference.

General Information About ECI

Engineering Conferences International (ECI) is a 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 weeklong research conference provides morning and late afternoon or evening sessions in which major presentations are made. 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 that 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.

Engineering Conferences International
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