Press release: Full Circle Biochar named Virgin Earth Challenge finalist

Download the press release (pdf)

Full Circle Biochar recognized as a Virgin Pioneer for innovative approach to carbon drawdown

Full Circle Biochar is honored to be named a Virgin Pioneer as part of the Virgin Earth Challenge.

Full Circle Biochar is one of 11 Virgin Pioneers, all with the potential to have long-term impact on the amount of anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Full Circle Biochar focuses on creating and using biochar, a stable, carbon-rich product of the thermal decomposition of biomass heated in a low-oxygen environment. Full Circle’s biochar is made from what may otherwise be considered waste – for example, wood leftover from logging operations or livestock manure. If that biomass was left to decompose, it would release CO2 back into the atmosphere. When it’s turned into biochar, the carbon is locked inside. The biochar has been proven beneficial across a wide range of applications, including agriculture and horticulture, soil restoration and water management.

Biochar has the potential to draw down hundreds of thousands of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. However, not all biochar is created equal, and Full Circle Biochar has taken a unique “platform” approach to biochar development and deployment that is customized for specific types of biomass feedstocks. Our platforms utilize proprietary strategies that deliver standardized biochar products, along with energy outputs from biochar production. Our patent-pending BioCoreTM and BioChargeTM technologies are tailored for the needs of large-scale agricultural markets.

Full Circle Biochar has designed, manufactured and is deploying a best-in-class product development kiln to make biochar that will significantly advance the science and engineering of biochar. Full Circle Biochar has partnered with leading biochar research institutions at Cornell and Edinburgh universities as well as the global agricultural bank network for Rabobank to accelerate the deployment of biochars into global agricultural markets.

Full Circle Biochar is a leading clean-tech company that is making carbon dioxide drawdown into a high-value industry. Biochar is in the vanguard of a suite of technologies that target global soil restoration, decouple tropical deforestation from sugar cane, palm, and soy production, and dramatically reduce the amount of water global agriculture uses. Agriculture uses 75% of all water. Reducing that number by 10% would provide enough water for all other uses of water on the planet.

Virgin is recognizing and supporting Full Circle Biochar’s efforts to scale up its efforts to harness existing carbon stocks to deliver proven biochar products with both agricultural and environmental benefits.

“We are looking forward to working with Virgin to scale biochar in global agricultural markets as it is a big idea with enormous food, water and climate security benefits for the planet,” says Dr. David Shearer, Full Circle Biochar’s CEO and co-founder.

The Virgin Earth Challenge

Launched by Sir Richard Branson in February 2007, the Virgin Earth Challenge is a $25 million initiative for the successful commercialisation of ways of taking greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and keeping them out with no countervailing impacts.

As of October 2011, the leading organisations in the Earth Challenge are: Biochar Solutions, from the US; Biorecro, from Sweden; Black Carbon, from Denmark; Carbon Engineering, from Canada; Climeworks, from Switzerland; Coaway, from the US; Full Circle Biochar, from the US; Global Thermostat, from the US; Kilimanjaro Energy, from the US, the Savory Institute, from the US and Smart Stones from the Netherlands.

We are collaborating with other groups to help responsibly further the work being done by these organisations,” explained Dr. Alan Knight, VEC Director. “There’s no silver bullet but each option can do its bit. We are looking at how we can make sure the Virgin Earth Challenge is a useful catalyst for all of the good work out there.”

“Beyond the potential of sustainably taking carbon out of the air and keeping it out, each technique has its own potential applications, markets, challenges and opportunities,” he added.

The leading organisations bring expertise and solutions from a wide range of areas which includes air capture, biochar, bio-energy with carbon capture and storage, enhanced weathering on land, and land management. It is hoped that by finding different ways of collaborating with these organisations, the VEC will provide them with new levels of support whilst advancing the entire concept of carbon negativity and recycling, as well as achieving further traction in the climate change debate.

David Addison, the VEC’s Research Executive, said “Currently all of these concepts have varying hurdles but these issues need to be discussed and explored if everybody’s work is to sustainably advance to the full commercial proof of concept stages. It has been a privilege getting to know the leading organisations and VEC are looking forward to working with them further”.

“This is a complex issue and one which cannot be solved by a single group. The Virgin Earth Challenge now plans to collaborate with other organisations to further the work being done by the leading companies”, said Mr. Nick Fox, a spokesperson for Sir Richard Branson. “The world needs better developed climate change mitigation and adaptation tools. We are exploring how we can help this pioneering work move forward in the near term, and want to encourage others to do the same”.

For more information, visithttp://www.virgin.com/subsites/virginearth/.

Full Circle Biochar company details

Our history and team:

Full Circle Biochar was founded in 2007 in San Francisco. A team of international experts in the fields of technology, climate change, and soil science comprises Full Circle Biochar. While Full Circle Biochar is based in San Francisco, our team is national and international, with core team members in San Francisco and Ithaca, NY, as well as Europe.

Our mission:

Full Circle Biochar works with nature to draw down carbon from the atmosphere.

Full Circle Biochar has developed best-in-class commercial biochar products. Our patent-pending BioCoreTM and BioChargeTM technologies are tailored for the needs of large-scale agricultural markets.

Full Circle Biochar has taken a unique “platform” approach to biochar development and deployment that is customized for specific feedstocks. Our platforms utilize proprietary pyrolysis and post-pyrolysis strategies that deliver standardized and stabilized biochar products, proven energy outputs, and carbon credit protocols.

All biochars are not created equal. Full Circle Biochar’s products are designed to differentiate designer biochars from commodity biochar.

Our work:

We have designed, manufactured, and are deploying a biochar kiln at Cornell University that will significantly advance the science and engineering of biochar.

We have partnered with leading biochar research institutions Cornell and Edinburgh universities and the Rabobank network, the largest global agricultural bank to accelerate the deployment of biochars into global agricultural markets.

We have completed our internal Generation One biochar product trials and are scheduled to begin field trials in the next 90 days.

What is biochar?

Biochar is a stable, carbon-rich product of pyrolysis, a process in which biomass is heated in a low-oxygen environment. This process results in energy from heat, syn-gas that can be used as fuel, and biochar, a charcoal-like substance. Biochar can be made from a range of biomass feedstocks, including wood and agricultural waste.

Biochar is carbon negative because if biomass is left to decompose, it releases CO2 back into the atmosphere. However, when it’s turned into biochar, the carbon is locked inside, and biochar can take thousands of years to break down. Ancient Amazonians used biochar in their fields, making otherwise unusable land fertile enough for agriculture, and the biochar can still be found in the soils today.

For more information on biochar, visit http://www.biochar-international.org/.

Full Circle Biochar contact information:

(607) 330-2566

info@fullcirclebiochar.com

www.fullcirclebiochar.com

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.