Well done. I already am climate-active, but you inspired me to step it up a notch!
Our carbon removal portfolios include biochar (BCR) and biomass removal and storage (BiCRS). It takes waste plant-based feedstocks which would have decomposed and released carbon back out, stabilize it with a process called pyrolysis to store the carbon for hundreds to thousands of years.
How does it work?
Biochar takes a carbon releasing feedstock - organic things like farm waste - and puts it through a process that removes that carbon from the wider environment in a durable way. This means it can't easily be re-released into the atmosphere to contribute to climate change.
The waste biomass is heated to a particular temperature in a low oxygen environment which means it doesn't burn. This process means it won't rot. The carbon cannot be re-emitted and can't contribute to climate change. Uses include spreading it on cropland to replace fertilizers, burying it or as a feedstock to make other materials that could replace fossil fuel plastics.
Why do we like it?
It's more permanent than storing carbon in trees. In the right conditions, biochar has the potential to safely store carbon for 1000 years or more. The duration depends on what happens to the biochar once it's been made. In some scenarios it's durable for a thousand years.
An important co-benefit is that biochar can be used as a replacement to fertilizers to enhance crops and soils, or as a carbon negative replacement material to make things.
What's great about biochar is that we can scale it pretty quickly. It's a known and established process, and there are a load of providers already. Combine that with the huge amount of waste biomass around the world that could be used and it's a promising CDR solution. For more detail on how we choose solutions, check out our .
We're excited to be working with Mash Makes, an Indo-Danish company. Headquartered in Denmark, Mash’s first operations are in India, where they are converting agricultural waste that otherwise would be burnt into biochar and energy solutions - they call this the Maharashtra model. They’ll soon have two plants operational, producing 30,000 tonnes/year, and are aiming for at least 50 more such plants over the next five years, with an annual potential for 1 million tCO2e CDR.
Their model includes remediating semi-arid soils in India, which will increase biomass and biodiversity, improve food security and provide new, green economic opportunities amongst other co-benefits. Mash’s Biochar is European Biochar Certificate (EBC) certified. .
We're thrilled to include Novocarbo. Based in Germany, they are using waste and residue feedstocks from sustainable European-based forestry management (which have the strictest regulations on biodiversity in the world). They are scaling up to tens of thousands of tonnes per year and aiming to double capacity every year.
The biochar they produce is used in agriculture to enhance soils and store carbon for hundreds of years. They also look to use their biochar in other applications, for example as a carbon negative alternative additive to concrete which would increase the permanence of the carbon removal to hundreds more years. Novocarbo follow the European Biochar Certification (EBC) standards. .
We're also exploring partnerships with additional biochar, BCR and BiCRS providers in different parts of the world, utilizing different waste feedstocks, approaches and end use cases. Further annoucements to follow!
Learn more by clicking on a partner to discover how the solution works and their company's progress.
We love questions! We want you to feel 100% comfortable and excited about joining our Carbon Removal Portfolio. It's something we wished existed but couldn't find, so we made it!
Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) is anything that pulls planet-heating carbon dixoide out of the air and stores it safely for a period of time. The longer the better.
It's a range of solutions that include various Nature-based, some tech-enabled or nature-inspired and fully engineered approaches and technologies. For example:
Forests and oceans are crucial natural carbon sinks which already draw down and lock away huge amounts of emissions. They'll be a part of the solution, but likely only about 20-30% of the removal we need.
On the more technological and engineered side, you might have heard about things like Direct Air Capture, Bio-oil, Biochar or Enhanced Weathering or Ocean Blue Carbon. These approaches, and others being worked on, are going to be need to fill the gap.
Our CDR portfolio is a blend of different carbon removal solutions, mixed together to make it an affordable cost per tonne. .
We believe this approach is ideal, based on the science-backed pathways to support growing the global carbon removal capacity to gigatonnes per year.
Combined with large scale global decarbonization, we need to reach about 10 billion tonnes of annual removal by 2050. There is no silver bullet solution and no one category or company will be big enough, which is why we take a portfolio approach to invest in a range of approaches.
Following the science-backed approach to Net Zero we advocate for 90% emissions reductions and decarbonization from current levels (about 50 gigatonnes of CO2e per year). Then using high permanence removals for the 10% hard-to-reduce remaining emissions.
Our angle on CDR is that even for that 10% it's a huge lift from where we are. Investing and growing the industry now is crucial.
If our goal is to build up the carbon removal industry to be the size we'll need by 2050 it needs to grow about 40%+ every year. It's not something that we can switch on overnight, it's something we'll have to build-up over time.
Not so much. Offsetting has been traditionally used to counterbalance the continued release of emissions, which only adds to the challenge of slowing and then reversing the increase in global average temperatures.
The vast majority (cough - 95% - cough) of offsets available don't remove carbon. Some may be good projects and have other societal benefits that aren't primarily about removing the gigatonnes of harmful gases we humans have pumped out.
Where carbon removal is different is that the only reason many of the technologies exist is to take out and sequester carbon dioxide - from the air or elsewhere - for hundreds to thousands of years, so it can't contribute to the continued heating of the planet and all the impacts of that.
Carbon removal is what's called highly additional, meaning the primary reason it exists is to do exactly as its name suggests.
This said, carbon removal can be used to offset emissions, though this should be only as part of a concerted effort to reduce as large a chunk of emissions as possible. It can also be used to remove older emissions that happened in the past.
We think that now is the time to fund and invest in carbon removal. Even if it is still more expensive than traditional offsets and it's not always viable to buy the same tonnes, it works in the way we need by literally removing the carbon dioxide so it can't contribute to climate change.
Find out more about and the .
There are a whole range of reasons. To us, some of the most compelling are:
- So the industry reaches about 10 billion tonnes of capacity by 2050 - the "net" bit of Net Zero
- The ratio of carbon removal in the Voluntary Carbon Markets needs to increase (compared to other approaches like avoidance or reduction)
- No one carbon removal type or company is going to be big enough on its own, we need a range of solutions and providers
- When combined with reducing emissions from everything we do, carbon removal will be a key tool to slow and then reverse climate change
- Funding and investing in it now helps to reduce the cost per tonne it takes to remove the carbon. Decreasing the cost by increasing demand will support the growth in supply of high-quality carbon removal options and capacity volume.
Our ready-made, curated, portfolio of high quality carbon dioxide removal (CDR) solutions is live. It aims for the highest permanence-for-the-$-per-tonne that we can find.
We're excited to be working with an inspiring group of global CDR companies taking the fight to the Climate Crisis. They're doing amazing work that holds a tonne - pun intended - of promise.
Well done. I already am climate-active, but you inspired me to step it up a notch!
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Looking forward to the next one!
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You’re doing the grunt work so others don’t have to! #climatehero.
The Climate Crisis doesn't have to be a horror movie. It can become a story about hope, opportunity, personal choice, and collective effort. Nobody has to be perfect, but we all have to do something!