Standard Biocarbon has secured $2 million (€1.7 million) in financing from three US-based institutions to purchase equipment for producing biochar. The company will produce high-quality biochar, the near-pure form of carbon made by processing biomass at high temperatures with little oxygen.
The biochar will be supplied for use in agriculture, environmental remediation, and emerging applications in composite building materials and asphalt. According to several studies, biochar is effective for remediation of PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ and heavy metals. It is also a recognised tool for atmospheric carbon removal.
Biochar does not degrade in nature, so carbon content is captured for thousands of years, therefore, biochar has emerged as a highly efficient, durable, economical, and scalable atmospheric CO2 removal technology.
Coastal Enterprises is the main lender with $800,000 (€686,000), with an additional $800,000 participation from the Finance Authority of Maine and $400,000 (€343,000) from the Maine Technology Institute (MTI).
The facility is set to be operational early next year, and SBC will initially produce around 18,000 cubic yards of biochar annually, with plans to expand to other sites. SBC will supply certified carbon removal credits to emerging private carbon markets which offer corporations and individuals the opportunity to ‘buy-back’ their emissions. Markets for biochar and carbon removal have ‘enormous potential’ for scale, said SBC, and Maine has an abundant supply of woody biomass – the key ingredient for biochar.
The loan funds will be destined for the purchase of two advanced carbonisation machines that can continuously process biomass at precisely controlled high temperatures to create a consistent, carbon-rich biochar. The machines will run 24/7 and process around 500 tons per month of locally sourced mill residuals.
“SBC is creating a new market for local and sustainable wood products to produce high-quality biochar, driving investment in Maine’s forestry industry, benefiting farmers, and delivering on Maine’s climate goals to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045,” said Daniel Wallace, senior vice-president of lending and investment at CEI.
“The technology that SBC brings to the East Millinocket site is revolutionary in both scope and size for the Northeast. We are pleased to partner with FAME and MTI to make a project like this happen in our home state.”