Three students affiliated with BEI’s Center for Sustainable Environmental Technologies (CSET) built two pyrolyzers in Nicaragua this summer to introduce farmers to the benefits of biochar. Bernardo Del Campo, Juan Proano Aviles, and Matt Kieffer, all graduate students in mechanical engineering at Iowa State University, spent two to three weeks near Matagalpa, Nicaragua, in June 2013.
The project was made possible by Emerging Opportunities for Sustainability (EOS) International, a nonprofit organization working in Nicaragua. Del Campo credited EOS members Wesley Meier, Bradley Barnhart, and Gregory McGrath for their help in obtaining a grant for this project. EOS International was started by a group of engineers from Iowa State in 2008 to promote appropriate technology in the developing world. The $5,000 grant was made by the Climate Food and Farming (CLIFF) Research Network, an initiative of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), in collaboration with the University of Copenhagen and Aarhus University.