Dave Faulkner from Climate Associates presented a talk about biochar. This is where wood or other biomass is heated under controlled conditions to drive off woodgas (syngas) which can be used to power internal combustion engines.
If the process is stopped at the appropriate point, charcoal can be had from the process which can be used as a soil enhancer. This improves water retention and other aspects of the soil chemistry, and is the subject of active research in Australia.
Biochar can be used to sequestrate carbon in the soil, which can help the fight against climate change.