4) Reducing Hazardous Fuels Using Low Cost Biochar Kilns in Four Utah Counties

Reducing Hazardous Fues Using Low Cost Biochar Kilns in Four Utah Counties

2017-2018 USU Extension Grant

PI: Darren McAvoy

Co-PI(s): Andree Walker, Urban Director, Salt Lake County; Dennis Worwood, Director, Emery County; Troy Cooper, Director, Duchesne County; Sterling Banks, Director, Summit County

Partners: Kelpie Wilson, Wilson Biochar Associates


This project will develop low cost biochar kiln operations in Utah. Simple biochar kilns will be purchased, a workshop and a subsequent demonstration will be conducted. The kilns will operate in in four counties in Utah on private land. Target audience includes wildland firefighters, arborists, fruit growers, and Master Gardeners.?


1) Introduce biochar kilns to the Utah wildland fire community, arborists, loggers and landowners as a means of hazardous fuels reduction

2) Reduce hazardous fuels

3) Sequester carbon

4) Make value from trash (biochar from waste wood)

5) Distribute biochar to Utah producers for soil amendment


Watch YouTube video of full biochar process here

Pictures from DIY Biochar Workshop, May 22, 2017

Wind screen for biochar kiln
Loading wood into biochar kiln
Loading wood into biochar kiln
Kelpie Wilson describing biochar top burn technique
Early burn 
Mid burn
Stirring to distribute heat evenly
Finished biochar
Biochar samples
Kiln full of ready-made char
Kiln operating at full capacity 
Multiple kilns operating
Workers stir and quench kiln full of biochar following combustion
Fully processed biochar, quenched and ready for use