B4SS baseline survey, lecture and visit to IBI-Asia (November 2016)

B4SS project director, Ruy Anaya de la Rosa, visited Nanjing Agricultural University (NAU) on 22-27 November 2016. Dr Xiaoyu Liu welcomed Ruy with a 3 hour presentation on the biochar-related activities that NAU has conducted since 2009. To their knowledge, NAU has been conducting the longest biochar field trial in China and has now expanded their research into almost all provinces in the country. It is very interesting to learn about the specific context in China for understanding that certain activities here, such as large-scale production and application of biochar-compound fertilisers, cannot be compared with the small-scale approaches implemented in the other B4SS participating countries. The project in China is a case study on its own.

Dr Xiaoyu Liu presenting NAU's biochar activities since 2009

The following day, Ruy gave a presentation on the carbon footprint of agricultural products and biochar to about 40 NAU graduate students and staff. The students showed great interest in understanding that all products and services have carbon footprints, and the consumer is typically responsible for the climate-change impacts that occur along the whole supply chain. Although the suggestion of becoming 100% vegetarian to reduce greatly their carbon footprint was not welcomed with joy by the Chinese audience, some students expressed agreement in reducing their meat consumption for the sake of their children’s future.

Ruy talks about the carbon footprint of agricultural products and biochar

In the afternoon, Prof Genxing Pan, Dr Xiaoyu Liu, Ruy and three students visited Qingeng company, which was under renovation due to a large investment recently made to increase the safety measures of the factory and improve the pyrolysis systems. We visited this company during the B4SS inception meeting, and so it was interesting to see how fast the biochar activities move forward in China.