Biochar industry offers novel way to remove CO2 from earth’s atmosphere
We need this sort of innovative thinking to help reduce the threat to our future posed by spiralling CO2.
An employee of the company ‘Circular Carbon’ shows shredded cocoa shells in Hamburg on May 10, 2023. (Photo by Axel Heimken / AFP)
Of all the suggestions we’ve heard over the years about how to save our planet from environmental meltdown, eating more chocolate is one which definitely hits the sweet spot.
At a factory in the German port city of Hamburg, cocoa shells – from which the cocoa is extracted and turned into delicious chocolate – are being transformed into an amazing black powder with the potential to counter climate change.
The substance, dubbed biochar, is produced by heating the cocoa husks in an oxygen-free room to 600oC. The process locks in greenhouse gases and the final product can be used as a fertiliser, or as an ingredient in the production of “green” concrete.
While the biochar industry is still in its infancy, the technology offers a novel way to remove carbon from the earth’s atmosphere, experts say. Biochar traps the CO2 contained in plant material, effectively preventing it from being released into the atmosphere through the normal decomposition process.
One ton of biochar traps the equivalent of three times as much CO2. We need this sort of innovative thinking to help reduce the threat to our future posed by spiralling CO2.
Even better if we could have fun while doing good…