Following the biochar activities in West Kalimantan, the Masarang Foundation has now also started a biochar program in North Sulawesi.
Masarang’s conservation department staff and a group of 12 ITM students were the first to be trained in the use of biochar.
The conservation department staff is planning to use the biochar to improve the production of sugar palm seedlings, and for a reforestation project on a new conservation location in Pinarasa. The ITM students who attended the training are students from the Masarang scholarship program. They will learn how to make a small biochar unit by themselves made from old oil drums, so they can produce biochar for use at the university and to pass on their knowledge to their fellow students. The training was conducted by Wisnu Wardhana, Willie Smits’ private assistant.
For the production of biochar, only waste wood is use that is collected from gardens and the forest. The wood is first dried and then chopped into small pieces. This wood is then stored in a closed, metal container, that fits inside the larger, regular size oil drum. The space in between the two drums is then filled with fire wood, and burnt. The wood inside the small drum is in this way burnt without oxygen which results in biochar.