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Recent News:

Fall 2011:

The Rice Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering funds the Rice biochar group’s grant “Investigating Biochar Impacts on Cell-Cell Communication.”  Congratulations Joff Silberg, Jenn Rudgers, Kyriacos Zygourakis, and Carrie Masiello!


Graduate student Hao Sun gives a talk at the annual meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) in Minneapolis:  “Soil amendment by biochar:  Theoretical and experimental studies on the dynamic adsorption of ammonium nitrate in soil/biochar mixtures.” H. Sun, W.C. Hockaday, C.A. Masiello, K. Zygourakis. Thursday, October 20th, 2011.


Rice Biochar faculty member Kyriacos Zygourakis gives a talk at the annual meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers in Minneapolis:  “Characterizing the pore structure of biochars:  a new approach based on multiscale pore structure models and reactivity measurements.” H. Sun, C.A. Masiello, K, Zygourakis.  Tuesday, October 18th, 2011.


Carrie Masiello speaks at the Baylor University Institute for Ecological, Earth, and Environmental Sciences: “Black Carbon in the Earth System.” Tuesday, October 4, 2011.


Summer 2011:

Dong Li’s paper on earthworm response to biochar is online: Li, D., W.C. Hockaday, C.A. Masiello, P.J.J. Alvarez. Earthworm avoidance of biochar can be mitigated by wetting, Soil Biology and Biochemistry, doi: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2011.4019


The biochar and microbes review paper is online: Lehmann, J., M. Rillig, J. Thies, C.A. Masiello, W.C. Hockaday, D. Crowley.  Biochar effects on soil biota - a review. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, doi: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2011.04.022.


Bill Hockaday visits Austin, TX as a part of a collaboration with the City of Austin to demonstrate the operation of the Rice Biochar group’s mobile pyrolysis unit at the Hornsby Bend Center for Environmental Research, June 15-16, 2011.


Undergrad Vicki Chuang accepts a Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (German Academic Exchange Service) RISE scholarship to travel to Germany for summer research with Johannes Hahn at IFM-GEOMAR.


Undergrad alumnus Chase LeCroy accepts a ThinkSwiss scholarship to travel to ETH-Zurich for the summer to work with Tim Eglinton in the ETH Department of Earth Sciences.


Undergrad alumna Lacey Pyle travels to U. Zurich to work with Michael Schmidt and Samuel Abiven.


Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Ph.D. student Hao Sun accepts an internship with Chevron.


New PhD student Zuolin Liu joins the Rice Biochar group to work with Brandon and Carrie.  Welcome Zuolin!


High school teacher Laura Driver joins the Rice Biochar group to work with Helge, KZ, Brandon, and Carrie.  Welcome Laura!


Spring 2011:  


The Rice biochar group presents at the 3rd Annual UK Biochar Meeting:

C.A. Masiello, B. Dugan, K.Zygourakis, W.C. Hockaday, T.J. Kinney, M.R. Dean, R.T. Barnes. Assessing controls on the hydrologic behavior of biochars. 3rd Annual Biochar conference, UK Biochar Centre, Edinburgh, UK.  May 2011.


Dong Li defends her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering.  Congratulations Dr. Li!

Amending soils with charcoal may increase soil fertility, improve soil drainage, and help manage nitrogen and phosphorus nutrient pollution. Adding charcoal to soils also sequesters carbon when this charcoal is made from biomass that would otherwise rapidly decompose to CO2. We are applying this promising C sequestration technique to the problem of greenhouse gas management in Texas. We are supported by grants from NSF, DOE, USDA, the Rice Shell Center for Sustainability and the Rice Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering.

Carbon sequestration and energy production through soil biochar amendment