Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on biomass processing solutions. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we want to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising biochar startups.
Heat Map: 5 Top Emerging Biochar Startups
Using our StartUs Insights Platform, covering 1.116.000+ startups & emerging companies, we looked at innovation in the field of biomass processing. For this research, we identified 67 relevant solutions and picked 5 to showcase below. These companies were chosen based on a data-driven startup scouting approach, taking into account factors such as location, founding year, and technology among others. Depending on your specific criteria, the top picks might look entirely different.
The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 startups & emerging companies developing biochar solutions. Moreover, the Heat Map reveals regions that observe a high startup activity and illustrates the geographic distribution of all 67 companies we analyzed for this specific topic.
Carbo Culture – Urban Climate Mitigation
Urban populations across the world are increasingly becoming aware of the uses and benefits of biomass. The processing of biomass without any oxygen results in biochar and syngas. Biochar has use cases in urban infrastructure such as green roofs and urban green spaces that, in turn, results in positive carbon sequestration. This allows startups to embed innovative carbon sequestering technologies in urban infrastructure.
The US-based startup Carbo Culture manufactures biochar to support green spaces in urban infrastructure. With the help of novel carbon-negative technology, the startup produces low-ash biochar. The startup’s pilot facility processes woody mass at the rate of 500 pounds per hour at high temperatures and also produces zero methane. Syngas, a by-product, along with biochar, allows the startup to utilize all of the residues from biomass processing.
Made Of Air – Construction Material
The manufacturing of cement and concrete results in a significant increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Biochar-based construction materials positively impact the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and also help the industry reduce its carbon footprint. To this end, startups are working on innovative biochar-based materials.
German startup Made Of Air creates biochar-based materials for the construction, interiors, and furniture industries. The startup’s proprietary material compound, Made of Air (MOA), is composed of 90% atmospheric carbon, thereby promoting carbon sequestration. The base material in MOA is thermoplastic and is also fully recyclable. The startup offers panels made with MOA as a replacement for traditional rainscreen facades.
bio365 – Soil Amendment
Technology-based agricultural production in controlled environments enables high-productivity and year-round cultivation. However, these environments often need nutrients to be externally added. Biochar, when mixed with soil, increases the soil’s ability to retain water and nutrients resulting in healthier crops. Many agritech startups are developing biochar-based soil amendments that help stimulate crop growth.
The US-based startup bio365 produces growing media for controlled crop cultivation. The startup’s proprietary soil contains bioCore, a high-temperature and low-ash biochar, and bioCharge, a mixture of bio-organisms and nutrients. bioCore has a unique structure with high surface area and porosity that provides a conducive environment for microorganisms to multiply. This later results in improvements in root health and optimal water consumption.
DEMIO – Biochar-Based Fertilizer
Traditionally, farmers use different kinds of fertilizers to ensure that crops get the necessary nutrient mix for optimal growth. While chemical fertilizers improve the yield of crops, they also reduce drainage and air circulation in the soil. Startups are working on biological solutions, such as biochar-based fertilizer or symbiotic microbes, as sustainable methods to improve soil health.
French startup DEMIO provides biochar-based organic fertilizers. With the help of their proprietary depolymerization technology, the startup produces biochar and mixes it with other components, such as slurry and manure, to produce organic fertilizers. This fertilizer is capable of capturing water and maximizing the retention of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the soil.
InRim – Thermochemical Processing
Some manufacturing facilities process their waste into biomass but do not possess the capability to later convert it into biochar and syngas. With the help of thermochemical processing, companies convert industrial biomass into biochar and syngas and as a result, reduce overall energy costs and carbon footprint. Depending on the industry, startups create customized solutions to process different kinds of waste into biomass to produce clean energy.
Australian cleantech startup InRim designs waste-to-energy technologies for projects across multiple geographies. The startup uses continuous pyrolysis technology to convert biomass from landfills into products with economic value. Continuous pyrolysis converts biomass into various products, such as biochar, syngas, and synthetic diesel, depending on the rate of pyrolysis. The biochar produced is suitable for agriculture as it increases nutrient retention and decreases soil acidity.
What About The Other 62 Solutions?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence so you can achieve your goals faster. The 5 biochar startups showcased above are promising examples out of 67 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria, get in touch.