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Biochar water infiltration in olive groves: exploring a circular industry around hemp

ÚLTIMA REVISIÓN: 10 de mayo de 2023

Institución: Asociacion de permacultura en Suryalila (Danyadara)


Región: Andalucía

Nombre: Chichizola


This project will focus on the potential of hemp to generate biochar water infiltrators (green technology) and as a byproduct create a circular economy industry based on hemp seeds and oil. Biochar is the product of a thermochemical process that transforms biomass (i.e. feedstock, rest of pruning, olive stones) into high carbon. Using biochar to produce water infiltrators is an innovative way to connect water with plant roots increasing the capacity to capture rainfall and secure irrigation efficiency while reducing erosion and increasing crop production. The potential of biochar has encouraged local researchers to produce innovative ways to implement it in olive groves, the most well-established crop in the south of Spain.


The implementation of biochar water infiltrators in this way is particularly important because of a) the economic and cultural relevance of olive groves in the Mediterranean region, b) the desertification process affecting this region and c) to face the demographic challenge of youth migration into urban areas by creating a local industry.


However, the scalability of biochar water infiltrators usage opens up a number of questions regarding its sustainability. Among these questions, we find the amount of water required to produce high quantities of biomass, avoidance of intensive monoculture, transportation, energy used for production and affordability. All of these aspects are intertwined with the willingness of farmers to adopt this technology.


In this context, we are looking for partners who would like to participate in implementing a pilot project to a) fine-tune the production of hemp in a sustainable way, b) tackle the challenges of producing biochar (i.e. costs, energy consumption), c) understand the acceptance of farmers of biochar water infiltrators.


Perfil Beneficiario:

  • Universities and researchers with specific focus on bioeconomy (specific interest on biochar) and water management.
  • Farmers willing to move from a linear to a circular economy
  • Local authorities with an interest to include learnings from the pilot into policies that could help to scale up green technology
  • Small businesses in the biochar industry

Idioma: ESP