Intro to Biochar
Biochar, short for biological charcoal, is the name of the by-product of pyrolysis1, an important technological innovation in carbon removals. Biochar is produced by heating organic feedstocks known as biomass, which includes many types of organic matter (such as wood, peanut shells, manure and crop waste) in the near or total absence of oxygen. The biomass is then separated into gas, liquid, and carbon. The gas and bio-oil are filtered off and can be used in any number of applications in energy, agriculture, pest management, transportation and cosmetics. The remaining very stable form of carbon bonds with soil providing nutrients and improving fertility while also preventing the release of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere.
Figure 1 Pyrolysis and the potential role of biochar in adapting soils to climate change.2
Biochar has the potential to sequester more than a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide every year3 and can store the carbon for centuries, making it an extremely effective application in the fight against climate change.
This is Carbon Streaming’s first carbon stream on a biochar carbon removals project and first located in the United States. The Project is hosted by a Virginia based producer of wood pellets used for home heating and animal bedding. The biochar production facility will be located onsite utilizing a renovated building owned by the pellet manufacturers. The newly purchased equipment financed in part by the carbon stream will process an estimated 11,000 tonnes/year of waste wood fibers and turn them into biochar, wood vinegar, bio-oil, and power.
The Project is expected to remove over 161,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions (“tCO2e”) over the 25-year project life and generate an equivalent number of CO2 Removal Certificates (“CORCs”). CORCs are expected to be verified under independent standard Puro.earth, the leading standard for biochar projects.
- Reduction of GHG Emissions and Biomass Waste
The Project is expected to reduce biomass waste and prevent the associated release of carbon dioxide and methane emissions into the atmosphere equivalent to an estimated 6,500 tCO2e per year.
- Improve Soil, Clean Power Generation
The biochar generated will be used to improve soil fertility, and the syngas generated will be used to produce power and offset energy use at a nearby manufacturing plant.
- Employment for Rural Communities
The Project is expected to be a significant employer in the local community.
Biochar Carbon Credit Stream
Carbon Streaming has made an upfront cash investment of US$0.6 million, with additional payments of up to US$0.75 million to be paid over the term of the stream agreement. Carbon Streaming will receive and sell 100% of the CORCs generated by the project with ongoing payments to Restoration Bioproducts, the project developer, for each CORC sold. CORCs from Puro.earth projects generally sell at or above €100/tonne.4
For additional information on Restoration Bioproducts, please visit their website at https://www.restorationbio.com/.