Symposium Program


Sunday, 6 November

06.00 PM

Get together

For all participants who are already in Darmstadt on Sunday evening. There will be a small menu with vegan dishes and plenty of time for personal exchange. A binding registration is required. If you are interested, please let us know when booking the conference. The get-together is self-paying.

Monday, 7 November

08.00 AM


Please have the ticket with QR code ready to scan.

09.00 AM

Welcome & Greeting

Welcome: Dr. Susanne Veser
Greeting: André Schellenberg

09.15 AM

Claudia Kammann

Biochar as the underdog of NETs: the state of research and visions of the future

Prof. Dr. Claudia Kammann
Hochschule Geisenheim University, Germany

By now the public at large is starting to appreciate more and more that in order to meet our two-degree climate goals we not only have to drastically reduce CO2 emissions but also need to actively remove CO2 from the atmosphere (negative emissions). What's the perspective of the scientific community that deals with global modeling, economic models and the full range of possible negative emission technologies, though? How well is biochar represented in the IPCC reports? Prof. Claudia Kammanns presentation aims to shine a light on the underdog status of biochar within the concert of intensively researched NETs and will focus on promising applications und possible future research and development fields for the production of novel biochar products like composite fertilizer carbonisates or city tree substrates. All of this in the light of changing landscape design and land utilization. There is a lot to explore beyond wood, especially in these fields.

Dr. Kammann, born 1967, studied biology in 1988-1995 at the Universities of Bayreuth and Kiel, Germany, followed by biogeochemical PhD studies at Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Germany, where she graduated in 2001. Her initial research focus was on the effects of rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations on greenhouse gas emissions of N2O and CH4 using a FACE platform (FACE = free air CO2 enrichment). Postdoc research in Gießen, Ireland and New Zealand along those, now confirmed, positive feedback mechanisms that accelerate global warming spurred C. Kammann’s interest in biochar as an (agricultural) CDR technique. In 2014, C. Kammann enrolled at Geisenheim University as a professor for climate change impact research for special crops. She authored or co-authored 88 peer-reviewed publications (H-Index 47). Her research activities range from biochar-based C-sink fertilizer development to implementation of Agri-Photovoltaics for special crop cultivation. Her passion lies in developing innovative adaptation-mitigation NE strategies for sustainable and climate-resilient agroecosystems and urban areas that deliver win-win benefits for real-world implementation.

Keynote Presentation: DE/EN Lecture: ONLINE/on-site

10.00 AM

Coffee break

10.30 AM

Paal Jahre Nilsen

VOW Biocarbon from waste - Applying Microwaves, direct electric heating or syngas

Dr. Paal Jahre Nilsen
Scanship, Asker, Norway

VOW Asa provides pyrolysis technologies for decarbonizing the industry. The consortium operates several test/pilot facilities and participates in numerous R&D projects. New data on biocarbon from waste fractions will be presented coming from industrial sites and R&D rigs. The novel microwave assisted pyrolysis system will be described in detail.

Paal Jahre Nilsen is Scanship's vice president for innovation. He holds a PhD in fluid mechanics and has 20 years of experience of R&D in the oil and gas industry. For the last 14 years he was involved with R&D projects in biogas and waste management and is currently focusing on biocarbon and thermal processing of biomass.

Presentation: DE/EN Lecture: ONLINE/on-site

11.00 AM

Berta Moya

Producing biochar from rice husks, turning a waste stream into a climate change mitigation solution

Dr. Berta Moya
Carbonfuture GmbH, Freiburg, Germany

Biochar production from rice husks presents an opportunity to put a circular economy solution in place, improve soil health and farm productivity, significantly decrease methane during rice cultivation as well as providing a durable carbon removal solution. Carbon removal credits present the opportunity to reward farmers for their climate service and can have a significant impact on their profitability.

Berta is a biochemical and environmental engineer passionate about creating value from waste and climate change mitigation. She enjoys a broad international experience in the water, food, waste, and energy nexus and has been active in the biochar industry for several years. At Carbonfuture she helps biochar producers access the carbon removal credits market and develops new methodologies for novel carbon removal approaches.

Presentation: DE/EN Lecture: ONLINE/on-site

11.30 AM

Presentation of the Silver and Gold Partners

in the form of dynamic Pecha Kucha presentations

12.15 PM

Lunch break

Included is a lunch buffet with vegetarian/vegan dishes and soft drinks.

01.15 PM

Poster session and partner exhibition


  • Two-way reuse of sewage sludge through co-composting with sludge derived biochar
    René Schatten, Freie Universität Berlin

  • Biochar from Arundo Donaxfor indoor air remediation
    Christoph Thomsen, Hochschule Flensburg

  • Blooming landscapes - our biodiverse carbon reservoir
    Marie Holler, Netzwerk blühende Landschaft

  • Increasing plant P availability from P-rich biochars and ashes with an acid pre-treatment
    Clara Kopp, University of Copenhagen

  • Increasing plant P availability from P-rich biochars and ashes with an acid pre-treatment
    Nikita Krähenbühl, Institut für Umwelt und Natürliche Ressourcen, Zürich

Partner exhibition

Gold partners

  • Biomacon GmbH
  • Carbuna AG
  • Carbon Standards International AG

Silver partners

  • Klimafarmer GmbH
  • ProE Bioenergie GmbH

02.15 PM

Gerhard Soja

Bonechar from slaughterhouse residue: nutrient recycling from problematic substances

Dr. Gerhard Soja
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology and University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria

This case study shows how solid and liquid slaughterhouse residue can be turned into a fertilizer applicable in agriculture by combining pyrolysis and anaerobic fermentation, thus reducing the ammounts of mineral fertilizer required to add nitrogen and phosphorus.

Gerhard Soja PhD is an environmental scientist with a focus on plant production, soil research and countering climate change. He graduated from both, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna and the University for Continuing Education, Krems. He earned his habilitation in the field of "applied plant physiology", has been deeply involved in founding and developing the Austrian Biomass Carbonisation Society (ÖBIKA) since 2020 and is currently its chairman.

Presentation: DE/EN Lecture: ONLINE/on-site

02.45 PM

Torben Halfer

Where does the biomass come from? Supply chain development of high-energy bulk goods

Torben Halfer
Brüning Group, Fischerhude, Germany

Where does the biomass come from? How much does it cost? The Brüning Group is involved with supply and disposal of energy supplying raw materials/bulk goods. National and international commodity flows are necessary to be able to provide a profitable supply of biomass.

A project manager for strategic business development / technology, new markets and products, Torben Halfer is in charge of project coordination, planning and implementation. He is Brüning Group's quality and certificate manager who is also in charge of QMS, including planning and implementation of audits and internal training.

Presentation: DE/EN Lecture: ONLINE/on-site

03.15 PM

Christoph Storm

Circular Store – regional residual material turned into raw material

Christoph Storm
Circular Store, Felde, Germany

Utilization of regional residual material is considered the royal road of sustainable raw material utilization. However, projects often fail due to the availability of sufficient amounts of raw material or failure to set up steady supply chains. We would like to present our Circular Store which will adress these exact problems and help you to procure and process residual material as well as develop innovative products.

After finishing his studies Christoph Storm entered the world of recycling and material flows, formerly unknown to him. He focused on product development from the beginning on. His work for the Schierbecker company offered the possibility to reconsider conceptionally procurement and utilization of residual material and ultimately to help bring the Circular Store project to life.

Presentation: DE/EN Lecture: ONLINE/on-site

03.45 PM

Coffee break

04.15 PM

Nadav Ziv (PhD)

‘CompoChar’ – The new black soilless growing media is even better than the peat thing

Dr. Nadav Ziv
Earth Biochar ltd, Hod Hasharon, Israel

Most soilless substrates are natural nonrenewable resources which involve environmental damage. The CompoCharTM is a biochar growing substrate, made locally from wood wastes and composted sewage sludge. The CompoChar has available macro and micro elements, a great balance between water holding capacity, drainage, and aeration. In addition, 1 ton of CompoChar locks 1.2 ton of atmospheric CO2.

Nadav Ziv is the CEO and R&D manager of Earth Biochar ltd. Education: BSc Medical Sciences, MSc Biochemistry, PhD Neurobiology. Earth biochar begun as a backyard solution for farm waste. Today Earth biochar is a partnership with OR recycling park, the biggest organic recycling facility in Israel.

Presentation: DE/EN Lecture: ONLINE/on-site

04.45 PM

Christoph Gareis

The Helsinki Sludge Char Project

Christoph Gareis
Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority, Finnland

Looking for an advanced and sustainable treatment for sewage sludge, pyrolysis has been identified as the best method. Running a pilot plant over the course of a year information about the applicability and reliability of the technology, product quality and operating data has been collected. This presentation will explain the background and the results of the project.

After graduating in agricultural sciences from TU-Munich/Weihenstephan Christoph Gareis worked for a private waste management company active all over Germany from 1991 until 2002. There he was in charge of planning, construction and maintenance of biowaste composting plants in Northern Bavaria. Since fall of 2002 he has been overseeing the treatment of organic waste for the environmental association of the capital region of Finland.

Presentation: DE/EN Lecture: ONLINE/on-site

05.15 PM

Robert C. Brown

Carbon Removal with Corn Stover

Prof. Dr. Robert C. Brown
Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA

Dr. Brown is Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering and Gary and Donna Hoover Chair in Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University (ISU). He is the founding director and currently co-director of ISU’s Bioeconomy Institute. He holds courtesy appointments in Chemical and Biological Engineering, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, and Food Science and Nutrition. His research interests include advanced biofuels, plastics upcycling, and carbon negative energy. Dr. Brown has written over 300 scientific papers and book chapters. He wrote Biorenewable Resources: Engineering New Products from Agriculture, widely used as a textbook around the world.

07.00 PM

Conference Dinner at the Orangery

Vegan/vegetarian 3-course menu incl. drinks (wine and water). Dinner is included in the conference fee. We will start the walk together at 6:30 pm. Please inform us in advance if a car transfer is necessary.

Tuesday, 8 November

08.00 AM

Gerald Dunst

It's all carbon - stabilization of organics with no exception

Gerald Dunst
Sonnenerde GmbH, Austria

Gerald Dunst is the owner of the company Sonnenerde and has been operating a pyrolysis plant since 2012. Over the years he has been experimenting with varying materials. Everyone knows about organic residual materials like fibers from paper production, waste from crop processing or stones from fruit. The more exciting residues are diapers, slaughterhouse waste, sewage sludge or residual waste. Gerald Dunst's focus is on how to turn the pyrolysed materials into profitable and marketable products. In every single case mentioned above this is possible and was successfully done at least in trials. Furthermore, Sonnenerde puts emphasis on the production of products with very distinct features. This is achieved through a variety of treatments to modify the surface and thus enhance certain features of the product.

Keynote Presentation: DE/EN Lecture: ONLINE/on-site

08.45 AM

Maria-Elena Vorrath

Doping? Yes, please! How enhanced weathering boosts PyCCS to the next level

Dr. Maria-Elena Vorrath
Institute for Geology, University Hamburg, Germany

A combination of enhanced weathering with PyCCS but also the co-pyrolysis of rock powder and biomass (“mineral-doping”) are assumed to provide several synergies on CDR potential, carbon content stability and nutrient provision. In PyMiCCS, lab, field and model studies investigate nutrient abundance/retention, hydrology, soil biota and trace metals.

Dr. Maria-Elena Vorrath, a marine geologist, biogeochemist and science slammer, is fed up by political inaction and ignorance of the climate crisis. For fast scalable CDR she looks at synergies of enhanced rock weathering with PyCCS in agriculture in the BMBF funded project PyMiCCS (part of CDRterra). Fasten your seatbelts, there’s no time to waste!

Presentation: DE/EN Lecture: ONLINE/on-site

09.15 AM

Felix Ertl

Biochar from cocoa bean shells – a commercial demonstration plant for Circular Bio-Economy

Felix Ertl
Circular Carbon GmbH, Hamburg, Germany

Circular Carbon Ltd. operates the first of its kind biochar facility producing steam and biochar from cocoa bean shells, a residue from the cocoa industry in Hamburg. The plant demonstrates in a commercial operation how utilizing waste streams for biochar production reduces transport needs, provides process energy on site, makes an industry carbon neutral. Biochar from residues recovers precious nutrients, such as phosphorous, and turns depleted soils back into living and fertile soils. Circular Carbon plans to install such facilities in growing areas as well, where biochar provides a big promise to recover original growing areas and to turn soils from a carbon source back into a carbon sink.

Felix Ertl is 38 years old and the co-founder of Circular Carbon with 12 years of experience in the field of pyrolysis technology development and project implementation. He holds degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Sustainable Energy Engineering from the university of applied sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt as well as the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. He first gained experience with start-ups as co-founder of PAMOJA Cleantech AB, in 2010 - a waste-to-energy project in Uganda pyrolyzing corncobs where he discovered biochar as an amazing basis for plant growth.

Presentation: DE/EN Lecture: ONLINE/on-site

09.45 AM

Coffee break

10.15 AM

Matthias Plöchl

Biochar from digestates in the stable, field and biogas plant cycle

Dr. Matthias Plöchl
B3 Project Monitoring Ltd, Potsdam, Germany

Biochar made from digestates and wood waste by pyrolysis is used in stables to partially replace straw and reduce the amount of ammonia. Stable manure mixed with biochar is fed into the biogas plant and later applied to fields as farm fertilizer. Biochar thus contributes to soil improvement.

Matthias Plöchl is the CEO of B3 Project Monitoring (B3). B3 was established in 2017 with the goal to work on and supervise projects and studies in collaboration with scientific and agricultural institutions. Other than the project "digestates for the improvement of animal housing and soil structure - an integral approach" they are currently working on a project to isolate organic acids from biogas production processes with the help of biochar. Matthias Plöchl has wide experience in biological and technical optimization of biogas production processes.

Presentation: DE/EN Lecture: ONLINE/on-site

10.45 AM

Christina Funk

Organic coating of biochar can boost its effects

Christina Funk
Hochschule Geisenheim University, Department of Applied Ecology, Germany

This presentation will present results from two pot experiments with spinach applying different pre-treated biochars from varying biomass. The study examined the effects on spinach yield as well as nitrate leaching and laughing gas emissions in sandy soil.
Biochar made from straw showed the smallest enivironmental impact while at the same time producing the highest yield.

Born in 1988, Christina Funk holds a master's degree in agricultural biology of the University of Hohenheim. She came in contact with biochar for the first time during her master thesis. She is currently working on her PhD at Hochschule Geisenheim University where she examines the effects of varying biochars on laughing gas emissions and nitrate leaching as well as crop yield in sandy soils.

Presentation: DE/EN Lecture: ONLINE/on-site

11.15 AM

Andreas Aicher

Using biochar for the purification of gray water in a green facade module

Andreas Aicher
Bauhaus-University Weimar, Germany

Biochar offers versatile applications, however, one niche is still in the early stages. Biochar's many positive physical properties can be applied in waste water management for purification purposes. The VertiKKA project for example uses biochar in facade greening modules to purify gray water. This approach allows waste water treatment directly where it occurs, city cooling and provides irrigation water among many other advantages of this technology.

Andreas Aicher is a research fellow and doctoral candidate at the Bauhaus-University in Weimar. His field of work includes innovative sanitary systems (NASS), the integration of (waste) water into circular systems for cities and research of new technologies for waste water treatment. Within the VertiKKA (vertical climate wastewater treatment plant) project he is supervising the gray water purification performance.

Presentation: DE/EN Lecture: ONLINE/on-site

11:45 Uhr

closing words

12.15 PM

Lunch break

Included is a lunch buffet with vegetarian/vegan dishes and soft drinks.

01.30 PM


To the carbonisation plant of the Darmstadt composting plant incl. bus transfer.

05.00 PM