U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to Speak at CU Law Conference

Published: Aug. 7, 2009

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will deliver a keynote speech at the 2009 North American Biochar Conference sponsored by the University of Colorado at Boulder School of Law's Center for Energy and Environmental Security, or CEES.

The conference, to be held Aug. 9-12 in the Wolf Law Building on the Boulder campus, is the first major biochar conference in the U.S. It is designed "to advance our understanding of the policy, business, scientific and technical opportunities and issues implicated by the large-scale usage of biochar," said Lakshman Guruswamy, the Nicholas Doman Professor of International Environmental Law at CU-Boulder and director of CEES.

The conference is co-sponsored by the International Biochar Initiative, a nonprofit organization, and also will feature a keynote talk by Susan Solomon, a senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder.

Biochar is a charcoal-like material created by pyrolysis, the decomposition or transformation of a compound caused by heat. The resulting material is very dense and is an excellent material for carbon capture and the storage of CO2, said Guruswamy.

"Humble biochar has uncharted potential for capturing and storing carbon dioxide, while simultaneously improving soil fertility and agricultural productivity," Guruswamy said. "CEES is the proud host of the first major conference in the USA exploring the potential and challenges presented by biochar."

More information on the conference is posted at www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?eventid=684390.