Solving our climate and food challenge
EcoEra has an industrial symbiosis solution starting with using agricultural residues rich in carbon and creating a balanced pellet out of them. The pellets are then carbonized where heat is released and utilized. After carbonization, the result is a carbon-rich substance; biochar. The biochar is, in essence, embodied carbon dioxide that is sold as a voluntary carbon offset. The solid biochar carbon is used as a soil enhancement providing better nutrient-holding capacity for agricultural soils – creating a climate positive food production.
The food challenge – degraded soils
Soil quality is decreasing globally. The amount of carbon in present soils have lost up to 75% of the bound carbon. This has impact on soil productivity and crop yield. This can be solved by adding a biochar – a certain type of charcoal – to agricultural soils. As this carbon is bound into the soil, it remains stable and therefore act as a carbon sink and a holding matrix for nutrients and microbes.
The climate challenge – getting to 350ppm.
Usually biofuels from biomass are carbon dioxide neutral as the CO2 taken up by the plants is released upon combustion of the plant matter or the biofuel thereof derived. Natures most efficient way of extracting CO2 from the atmosphere is by photosynthesis. The CO2 is converted into biomass. By using a low-oxygen pyrolysing process, the biomass is converted into syngas (mainly methane, carbon monoxide and hydrogen) this syngas can be combusted for heating or power generation or reformed into biofuels. In the process, another fraction is formed; biochar. The carbon atoms in the biochar, hence are bound from the atmospheric CO2, which in effect is historical and therefore partly from fossil sources. The biochar is extremely stable has a half-life of 100+ years. This is verified, by the research around ”Terra Preta” the soil enhancement technique used e.g. the Amazon 2000 years B.C. Deposits of charcoal up to 9500 years old have been found in wet tropical forest soils in Guyana (Hammond et al, 2007), up to 6000 years old in Amazonia (Soubies 1979), and up to 23,000 years old in Costa Rica (Titiz & Sanford, 2007). The carbon bound in Amazonian Terra Preta soils is still stable and the soils still have a high fertility.
There exists a trade of biochar as soil enhancement today, but by adding the possibility of capturing CO2, the economies of biochar utilization will be possible on a large scale. Thus, a person working in perfect self-interest by improving his soils with biochar may get an extra incentive from a sequestration carbon offset payment. Thereby additionality in the carbon offset sense – is created from the system.
Taking on the challenge with biochar:
Ecoera has expanded the current agro-residue to-energy system; ”BIOAGRO Energy” for carbon capture capacity. The concept includes a pyrolysis step of pelletized unique biomass blends with specified mineral composition, thereby producing syngas, heat and biochar – “Bioagrochar”. The syngas is used for heating and the biochar is returned to the fields as a soil enhancer and carbon sink. Ecoera has created a platform with complete carbon audit trail for following the carbon from biomass to soil and its exact location on the planet and amount including analysis data. This is realized within the BIOAGRO Energy facility, with 100% biomass source traceability.
Ecoera’s studies on Swedish farmland has shown a 9,6% increase in plant height (Spring Barley, clay soil, mineral fertilizer) for the 2009 biochar sequestrations and a 33% increase in harvest yield from dry sandy soils from the 2010 sequestrations. This trial, the second large scale trial conducted by Ecoera AB was made with external consultant stemming from the Swedish Agricultural Society to verify the trial. The trial was conducted using the Bioagrochar R54 in six rows with double sampling and made by a Sampo 2010 sampling harvester. When increasing the biochar application from 1 to 3 kg/m2 – all other parameters equal. In addition to this, pot trials (Tomato: totem) have been very successful. 39% tomato yield compared to control. The 2011 trials showed a 33% crop yield increase in the long-term biochar field application. The 2012 and the concluding 2013 large-scale field trial has showed a continuous positive effect in the soil with harvest increase of 9% in 2013 and 14% in 2013. The 2014 Trial – where biochar is used in a wheat grower competition – is shown below.
ECOERA BIOSFAIR(TM) – Carbon Negative means Climate Positive
The complete ECOERA BIOSFAIR(TM) platform provides for a method of decreasing atmospheric CO2 and constitutes an easily quantifiable way of measuring CO2 sequestration, thereby enabling a market for carbon emissions rights. Ecoera is selling carbon sequestration as an offsetting mechanism – thereby being the first mover in this exciting field. The typical customer is an individual, company or organization purchasing carbon sequestration to make its operations truly carbon neutral – not only decreasing emissions somewhere else, but actually sequestering the carbon from the atmosphere. Call it carbon dioxide cleanup.
For more info on how Ecoera can provide biochar offsets for your organization, using our Biosfair™ Carbon Sequestration Platform, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org