Carbogenics - Paper waste derived biochar for bio-process enhancement

Carbogenics’ team members (from left to right): Jan Mumme, Ed Craig, Karolina Mąka and David Vaughan

Carbogenics developed a technology to convert paper (and other) wastes into ‘biochar-like’ carbon products. The carbons created during the process increase the efficiency of anaerobic digestion and wastewater treatment. They adsorb and catalyse the microbial breakdown of mineral and organic substances. Spent carbons are used for soil enhancement where their inert nature sequesters carbon for centuries.

Carbogenics’ team members (from left to right): Jan Mumme, Ed Craig, Karolina Mąka and David Vaughan

Carbogenics’ process mimics the slow natural formation of coal but only requires minutes. Similar to charcoal, carbons are produced in a high temperature process called pyrolysis. In addition to the carbon products, it also produces renewable heat. Carbogenics’ first patent-pending product to market is CreChar®, an additive for the anaerobic digestion (biogas) industry. The industry uses a broad range of chemical additives including microbial nutrients and enzymes to enhance the digestion process.

To date, annually 200 million tons of paper waste are either incinerated or landfilled. Using this enormous source for Carbogenics’ carbon products creates additional CO2 removal, renewable heat and biogas generation.

Carbogenics is a University of Edinburgh spinout company and an international team with diverse skills and backgrounds. The R&D and engineering team combines more than 40 years’ worth of experience in anaerobic digestion, product development and technology integration and is complemented by the team for finance and business development.

Carbogenics has already produced 10 tons of CreChar® and have implemented it in two first commercial anaerobic digestion (biogas) plants with results indicating a substantial uplift in gas production of 10-15%. During the ClimAccelerator programme and with support of Munich Re/ERGO, the team aims to adapt the business model for the German market including potential insurance requirements.

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