Biochar

CO2 reduction technology

An short explanation of the atmospheric CO2 reduction concept through Bio Char

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Biochar

The CO2 content in the atmosphere has risen in the last 100 years from 280 to 385 ppm. Given that the consumption of fossil energy is still on the rise, alternative technologies and processes to isolate CO2 from the atmosphere are a necessity.

According to chemical analysis, agricultural soils have demonstrated heavy microbiological deficits due to one-sided usage. Due to the lack of nutritional, and mineral values, the quality of agricultural food has significantly declined in the last 100 years.

As seen in the figure, CO2 is withdrawn from the atmosphere and transformed into biomass by a natural process. The rotting of biomass causes a release of carbon into the atmosphere (neutral CO2 cycle). The pyrolysis process transforms the otherwise rotting biomass into biologically persistent biochar. Once transformed, this stable form of carbon is used for long- term storage in the soil (negative CO2 cycle). Long-term trials and hundreds of different applications in different crops have proven that char in soil (Terra Preta) has growth enhancing and cost reducing effects on most crops. The growth and productivity of most crops would increase up to 20 to 35 %. Research and development of cost effective technologies to transfer biomass into biochar could be the key to a fast CO2 reduction.

The production of renewable energy by utilization of cost saving biochar stimulates an increase in biomass growth, which leads to atmospheric CO2 reduction. Generated heat can be transformed into electrical energy, which causes a significant reduction of fossil fuels.

Staged Pyrolysis

commissioned concept

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Staged Pyrolysis

The problems that are associated with the use of fossil fuels demand a transition to renewable sources of energy and industrial raw materials. Biomass is a natural resource for chemicals, which are up to now made from fossil resources. Unfortunately, the heterogeneity and complexity of biomass still hamper its exploitation. New technologies are in development, but cannot yet economically compete with petrochemical processes.

However, rising prices of fossil resources will inevitably lead to the replacement of oil refineries with “bio-refineries”. A bio-refinery uses various types of biomass feed stocks that are processed via different technologies into bio char, heat, power and various liquid products. The bio-refinery is self-sustaining in respect to heat and power and does not pollute the environment. Thermo- chemical processes such as fast or slow pyrolysis can play an important role in bio-refineries within the scope of biomass pyrolysis. The bio refinery would serve as renewable option to produce bio-char, store CO2 and produce additional sources of energy.

This refinery is capable of:

  • Refining and handling of raw material
  • Staged pyrolysis with recovery of sub-products
  • Management/use of the heat and energy liberated in the process
  • Further processing/purification of the sub products
  • Transformation of the char into agronomic useful and applicable substrate/ adding fertilizer, micronutrients and trace elements

With this new development we are able to offer an environmentally friendly alternative to harmful fossil fuel extractions.

Pellet Pyrolizer

concept study

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Pellet Pyrolizer

The key factor of the Pellet Pyrolizer is to attain energy and store CO2 in the same process. In suburban areas, households gain heat through the burning of biomass pellets. We are convinced that instead of burning biomass, it is more effective to pyrolize it. Pyrolysis is a process in which energy and biochar are simultaneously generated. The energy produced would be used for house heating. The remaining carbon derivatives (biochar) could be sold, and stored in soil. This makes for an economical ”win win“ situation for every party involved.

For example:

Local farmers provide wood pellets to local traders:
To cover the same energy demands for heating with pyrolysis, an additional 30% material value is required. This enables the farmer to generate more pellets, which transform into biochar. Produced biochar is sold back to local traders, which will reduce heating cost significantly.
It is proven that the stored CO2 (biochar) in soil, increases plant growth up to 35%. The benefits of this concept are obvious: Energy recovery, stored CO2, low transportation costs, and an increase of local trading structures.

Interactive Display Design:

Through an interactive display the device communicates heat management, storage, stored CO2 and cost balance. Pellets and biochar are displayed and stored separately. This would make for more convenient and easy usage of the product.

Contact: Ing. Nikolaus Foidl (MADKEM renewable energies)

Polymer Solarcollector

Cooperation with Poderco S.A.

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Polymer Solarcollector

The development of polymer solar hot water collectors gained lots of popularity in the industry over the last few years. Low cost solar collectors made out of polymers, could reduce financial pay back time significantly. This would make solar energy affordable to many more households, especially in subequatorial territories.

Inspired by this issue, our team has been working for more than 3 years in collaboration with a Costa Rican company called "Poderco S.A". Which entails a low budget polymer solar hot water system, which will help reduce CO2 emissions. This project challenges each of our professionals, starting from the chemical specifications of the material, down to industrial design, engineering and manufacturing matters.

Status:
Ongoing Development