Talks & Lectures
25 Mar 2020
Virtual Event - Link Below

Hugo Neu Corporation Sustainability Seminar Series: The Ingenuity Of Biochar For Soil & Water Health, Climate Resiliency & Circular Economy

Department of Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering

Dominique Lueckenhoff and Isabel Lima

by Dominique Lueckenhoff, Senior Vice-President for Corporate Affairs & Sustainability, Hugo Neu Corporation and Isabel Lima, Ph.D., research chemist with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, ARS, Southern Regional Research Center


Biochar, biomass produced from various waste streams through a negatively sequestered carbon gasification process, is a highly stable, carbon-rich material that can serve as an effective soil amendment and clean technology option. When added to soils, it can remediate toxics and nutrient pollutants, speed plant growth and improve soil and water quality. It is also resistant to decay, with the potential to sequester carbon for potentially thousands of years. For these and other reasons, biochar is a great example of a mitigation and adaptation approach that could be applied to greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions, while achieving other environmental benefits. Biochar is a triple win for communities because it can safely transform food, plant and manure waste streams – threats to healthy land, air and water - into valuable resources that improve soil and plant health, bolster water quality, and sequester carbon. Biochar can also present real opportunities for communities to optimize green infrastructure, improve local quality of life, and generate carbon credits for greater investment opportunities through the growing, multi-trillion dollar climate mitigation and adaptation economy.


Dominique Lueckenhoff serves as the Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs & Sustainability at Hugo Neu. Reporting to the Chair and CEO, she leads the company’s global efforts in corporate sustainability, environmental policy, public and community affairs, and green business growth and investment and an immediate focus on Kearny Point. Ms. Lueckenhoff also serves as an adjunct professor on the faculty of Virginia Tech’s Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability and Chair of the National Council for Public Private Partnerships’ Water Institute, a forum supporting high-performance, public-private partnerships in the water sector. Recognized as a national leader and expert in green infrastructure and sustainable communities, Ms. Lueckenhoff has over 25 years of award-winning program development, management and supervisory experience across multiple U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) programs and geographic locations protecting the nation’s air, water and land. Dominique earned a B.S in Microbiology/Chemistry with honors from U. of Louisiana and an M.S. in Microbiology/Biophysics from Rice U and U of Houston as a National Science Foundation Fellow. She received her Senior Executive Service (SES) certification from the US Office of Personnel Management on March 13, 2018 as a graduate of the US Treasury Executive Institute and US EPA SES Candidate Development Program.

Isabel Lima is a research chemist with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, ARS, Southern Regional Research Center, SRRC in New Orleans, Louisiana since 1997. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. at the Bio and Ag. Engineering Department of U.C. Davis, in 1992 and 1996. She started her biochar research while finding value-added alternatives for the disposal of agricultural wastes since 2001. She has developed and characterized a multitude of biochars, particularly using animal manures as feedstock, for environmental remediation with focus on heavy metals. More recently, amongst other research priorities, she has been involved in developing biochars for field application utilizing sugarcane bagasse as feedstock.

For more information, please contact Dr. Dibs Sarkar at [email protected] While there is not a physical location for the event due to continued social distancing measures, the seminar will be live webcast via Zoom.

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