Biochar Production and Utilization Summary

0) Biochar Industry Overview

1) What is Biochar

Biochar is a charcoal-like substance that’s made by burning organic material from agricultural and forestry wastes (also called biomass) in a controlled process called pyrolysis.  Biochar is by far more efficient at converting carbon into a stable form and is cleaner than other forms of charcoal. Biochar’s chemical composition varies depending on the feedstocks used to make it and methods used to heat it.

2) Two bio-char plants planned for Canada:

a) BC Biocarbon LTD, 5269 Mountainview Road, McBride, BC: Plant: BC Biocarbon’s Edgewood Biorefinery, Carrot River, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Planned start date of construction info: 01/10/2021
Planned start date of production info: 01/07/2022

BC Bio-Carbon is offering to sell the CORC for 117 € for one tonne of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e). One tonne of dry forestry residues is estimated to produce 0.3 tonnes of biochar.  One tonne of biochar is estimated to be about equivalent to about 2.3 tonnes of CO2e.  Therefore, this means they may earn 0.3 x 2.3 x 117 € = 80.7 € per tonne of dry forestry residues = CA$116 per tonne of dry forestry residues.

Related Technical Paper: Greenhouse gas lifecycle assessment of biochar and biocoal applications in British Columbia (doi:10.24124/2018/58978)

b) Char Technologies Ltd. is planning a $20m plant in Kirkland Lake, Ontario that would produce natural gas from bio-mass and bio-char.  This biochar can be used to increase the productivity of soil for growing food and enable the soil to be more resilient to droughts due to its increased water-retaining capacity.  As well, it can be further enhanced by co-composting it with animal manure and/or food waste.  If it is done, it will further increase the productivity of soil for growing food.   For more information on how to enhance biochar with organics, see: biochar inoculation recipe by AirTerra.

3) AirTerra produces premium bio-char product called Soil Matrix. (For more info, see Diane Saxe’s Podcast Preview on Youtube about AirTerra; Google Podcast)

4) Stripe Climate facilitates premium prices for carbon capture to support the development of these technologies.

5) Bio Char Suppliers And Manufacturers –

6) Companies can be paid for carbon capture through Puro Earth, which is now owned by Nasdaq

7) To be paid for carbon capture, a project needs to be certified and monitored.  Given below are some monitoring agencies and consultants:

a) European Biochar Certificate (EBC)
In 2019 the EBC developed the first methodology and standard to specifically certify biochar as a carbon sink. The EBC C-sink is currently the most rigorous standard available for carbon sinks based on the carbon-preserving applications of biochar. The EBC provides a platform for verifying and certifying that C-sink credits are real, measurable, unique, and independently verified according to the guidelines defined in the EBC C-sink standard
b) For Puro.Earth used these independent verification bodies:
ii) DNV.GL
c) International Bio Char Initiative: May do bio-char verification in Canada.
d) Video by Puro Earth: How third-party verification of carbon removal works – VIDEO
e) indicates that GHD Limited (455 Phillip Street, Unit#100A, Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3X2, T: +(519) 884-0510) does carbon removal auditing.
f) International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC). ISCC System GmbH, Hohenzollernring 72, D-50672 Cologne, Germany. ISCC is a globally leading certification system, Tel.: +49 221 50802010,
g) Viresco Solutions Inc., Suite 1930, 401 – 9th Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 3C5, +1.403.397.6506
8) Buyers of carbon credits:

– 200+ companies committed to NetZero Carbon by 2040
21% of 2,000 of the world’s largest public companies, representing sales of nearly $14 trillion, now have net zero commitments by 2050

9) Government of Canada announces $200M to address climate change by restoring carbon-rich ecosystems through nature-based solutions

10) Combining technologies to generate reliable power and create negative emissions at the same time:

Rapid advances in technologies in power generation with carbon capture, direct air capture (DAC), energy storage and renewable energy is creating a major new opportunity for countries to reduce their respective emissions and grow their economies at the same time.  If implemented on a large-scale, this combination of technologies can help Canada lower the carbon footprint of its electric grids.  Given below is a simplified schematic of this combination of technologies:

Given below are some example carbon capture technologies that can be combined with systems shown in the above schematic:
a) Allam Cycle by Netpower, which generates power from biogas or natural gas and captures 100% of CO2 created.
b) SureSource Capture by FuelCell Energy, which enables a hydrocarbon-based power plant to capture 90% of CO2.  For more information, see this technical paper: “Fuel Cells finally find a killer app: Carbon Capture”.
c) Carbon Capture Technology by Global Thermostat, which can cost-effectively capture CO2 from the outside air and natural gas power plants simultaneously.
11) Recently an article by Climate Solutions Advancement Network (ClimateSAN) was published in oilprice.comHow Oil & Gas Companies Can Profitably Create Carbon-Negative Energy (Jan 05, 2022).  To view a 3.5 min. animated video along with links to more information about these opportunities, see: Business Opportunities Creating Large-Scale Carbon Emissions Mitigation.