Charlotte O'Brien - BioBamboo: An Example of Eco-Restoration


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Charlotte O'Brien - BioBamboo: An Example of Eco-Restoration
From Biodiversity for a Livable Climate conference: "Restoring Ecosystems to Reverse Global Warming"
Saturday November 22nd, 2014

Published in: Environment
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  • Biomass in general and bamboo specifically is one of our most important tools for climate change reversal
  • Bamboo is a biomass with a back story and a documented 1500 uses.
  • It provides many environmental services
  • Bamboo is a member of the grass family who acts like a tree with lateral roots ideal for holding back erosion on steep hillsides and along rivers.
  • It balances the water cycle And according to UN FAO experiments in India it also raises the water table.
  • Bamboo is a fast growing cover for denuded soils.
  • This is the HCM trail in the 70s. The newly formed government offered a kilo of rice/ day to anyone who would plant bamboo.
  • There was no money for fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. They just planted the bamboo and let the bamboo work its magic.
  • This is the HCM trail today.
  • And it is a soil rejuvenator which Dr. My Hanh, recipient of a UN award for her efforts with bamboo, wanted to prove
  • She wanted to prove that you could take some of the worst soil in the world so she choose her home town that was nicknamed the Iron Triangle for the number of bombs that were dropped in that area in the 60s. And she planted structural bamboo. This is four years later
  • What is most remarkable is what is happening to the soil under the bamboo. Bamboo works it magic.
  • How does bamboo do this? Bamboo is a Pioneer Plant – meaning it is a plant that will establish under difficult conditions and quickly improve the soil conditions.
  • Five years later the bamboo has created a beautiful understory.
  • As long as we are in Hawaii - check out this beauty that was 6 years old in this photo.
  • With106 stalks otherwise known as culms that day.
  • We’re not talking about your grandfather’s fishing pole bamboo.
  • Without human management it will grow for 10 to 12 years and start to die off.
    To keep it producing and drawing down C at a maximum rate you need to mark which year it emerges and harvest 25 to 30% of the plant mass every year.
  • When you decide to cut it all you need is a machete
  • Bamboo needs an economic driver
  • This is a true bi product of growing bamboo for the purpose of environmental services, economic uplift, timber replacement and finally biomass is the end result.
  • To build on what Tom was saying we need to focus on VCC - forget governments This is a job for we the people
    Global North Global South
  • It is an ancient culture but a little extra money from growing bamboo puts shoes on the kids
  • And gives the ladies a day out!
  • There are 1500 documented uses for bamboo
  • This bridge gets rebuild every year because the monsoons take it out
  • A little hotel
  • In about 1955 they started using non toxic borates to preserve bamboo
  • You can do it in a trough or in a pressure tank
  • But this treatment allows even millionaires to live in bamboo houses
  • With bamboo doors and stairs and floors
  • Joerge Strom builds bridges
  • Big bridges
  • Strong bridges
  • This is a bamboo house that I used to live in
  • No plywood – just woven bamboo walls – good enough for guests
  • Simon Valdez of Columbia
  • Uses high tech connectors
  • To make huge structures
  • And even churches
  • Rashmir was born in Katmandhu and trained as an architect
  • So that she could design bamboo houses
  • For Nepal’s Habitat for Humanity
  • And if you want the imperial plaster look – just trowel over the weavings.
  • Now China makes high value bamboo products
  • That replace timber products
  • We have all seen the bamboo flooring that is leaving that country by the ship loads.
  • By simple industrial techniques
  • Employing many people
  • And creating 5000 tons of sawdust per day nationwide
  • Unfortunately most of it goes into old fashioned boilers to create process heat. I say unfortunately because it could be efficiently pyrolyzed to get
  • Electrical output depends on efficiency of syngas conversion equipment.
    Thermochemical conversion also enables use of process heat for drying or other applications. Each system produces an additional 2.0MWTH thermal energy. Combined process heat and electrical energy totals 4.0MW.
  • Huge
    We are positioning ourselves to be the go to company for the appropriate pyrolysis equipment and the offtakers of BioChar so that we can maximize production and use of BioChar.
  • Charlotte O'Brien - BioBamboo: An Example of Eco-Restoration

    1. 1. Bamboo: A Climate Change Hero! Bamboo: A Climate Change Hero!
    2. 2. 1.8M sq mi Abandoned!
    3. 3. 37
    4. 4. 42
    5. 5. 43
    6. 6. 48
    7. 7. BByy BBaammbboooo LLiivviinngg HHoommeess
    8. 8. JJooeerrggee SSttrraammmm
    9. 9. 99
    10. 10. Syngas Genset 100 Production Yields Systems are modular and thus infinitely scalable Plus Process Heat … up to additional 2.0 MWTH
    11. 11. Crop / food wastes Rice straw Sawdust Grain Mills 101 101 Miscanthus Bamboo
    12. 12. Tree Fronds and other biomass See also 102 Palm Kernel Shells Mesocarp fiber Press cake Decanter cake Other production wastes? Empty Fruit Bunches