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Master of Environmental Science and Management: Eco-Entrepreneurship Project

A palm frond biochar for farmers and gardeners who want to improve soil health by repurposing landfill waste (Eco-E)

Green palm fronds

Group Members: Lilli Bennett, Isabelle (Izzy) Coiro, Anna Perko, Michael Roysner

Faculty Advisors: Emily Cotter, Don Fullerton


Palm fronds are an iconic piece of the Central Coast and southern regions of California, and are exceedingly prolific across the landscape. As popular as the palm is, their waste, especially fronds, does not break down naturally or in composting facilities, creating a massive regionally specific waste management issue. Palms are beginning to take up an increasing amount of space in the already limited regional landfill spaces hindering statewide efforts to reduce organic waste (such as SB 1383). We hope to divert and prevent accumulation of this waste by turning it into a viable biochar product. In doing so, we aim to create a regionally specific biochar that can be used to improve regional soil health and resiliency and sequester carbon while also alleviating the increasingly urgent waste issues palms and their fronds are creating.
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