The Rifasa project work program includes 7 main activities
- Acquisition of the starting material for the carbonization process:
The starting organic material is obtained from the mowing of the embankments and buffer strips located near the land of the farms involved in the project; the plant material is packed and transported to UNIPR where it is subjected to the "carbonization" process.
- Carbonization of biomass with biochar production:
The activity foresees the carbonization of the biomass cut away and packaged through the use of a prototype carboniser.
- Distribution of biochar in the buffer zone soils: agronomic tests
Real agronomic tests will take place in the farms involved in the project to test the amending efficacy of the biochar produced by the carboniser. The tests are carried out on different crops for two consecutive seasons (details will be illustrated in the agronomic results of the tests).
- Laboratory analysis
The laboratory activity, which is fundamental in this project, includes chemical-physical analysis on the biochar and phytotoxicity tests, by UNIPR. Furthermore, the University of Bologna analyzes soil samples taken from the test fields to determine their carbon content before and after the distribution of the biochar.
- Cost-benefit analysis of the process
The entire project is subjected to an accurate Cost-Benefit Analysis by the researchers of the University of Parma.
The project includes a training course aimed at the leaders of farms belonging to the GOI.
An essential part of this project is the dissemination and transfer of results. There is a final conference and the drafting of guidelines on the use of biochar in agriculture, based on the results of field and laboratory tests.