Photo: Sitra

Published May 15, 2019

Biochar enhances nutrient recycling and carbon sequestration

Carbons Finland sells biochar that increases carbon sequestration in soil and nutrient recycling.

Problem

As a result of intensive agriculture, the soil in many fields has lost a lot of organic matter, which has reduced its capacity to bind water and nutrients. The fertiliser products used in farming cause the runoff of nutrients into water bodies. Impurities also run into waterways from urban rainwater, when purifying plants are unable to treat the mass of water that enters the plant in one short period because of limited pipeline and purification capacity.

Solution: biochar enhances nutrient recycling and carbon sequestration

Carbons Finland produces biochar that can be used, for example, as growing media in landscaping, and for treating rainwater and runoff water, composting of manure and other organic materials, recycling of soil nutrients and improvement of the quality of growing media.

Biochar binds water, nutrients and harmful substances. In addition, it improves the soil quality, decreases acidity and retains water and nutrients in a form usable for plants. In soil, biochar functions as carbon sink: one tonne of biochar contains 3.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide, and when absorbed into soil it is stored there for hundreds of years.

Carbons’ revenue logic and benefits

Currently, Carbons buys crude biochar from its co-operative partners, such as Carbofex Oy, and refines it into marketable products. This way Carbons strives to create demand for the product before launching its own production. In the future, the company aims to generate a willow production network that enables the efficient production of raw materials and turns peat fields and areas no longer used for peat production into carbon and nutrient sinks.

Benefits to customers and end users

The use of biochar makes the manure and sludge used in agriculture more nutrient-rich, increases the amount of permanent carbon in soil, produces carbon sinks and increases crop production. Biochar-based filters can also be used for the purification of rainwater and runoff water. The carbon-bonding properties of biochar help Carbons Finland’s customers reach their climate targets.

Facts

Carbons Finland Oy in a nutshell

Main business: Bioeconomy

Year of foundation: 2014

Turnover: Less than €1 million

Year the circular economy solution was launched: 2014

Share of the circular economy solution of the total business: 100%

Employees: 1-10

Based: Kouvola

Website: www.carbons.fi

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