Carbon Hill is a biochar company owned by the Jones family located in Caebardd farm, near Welshpool in mid-Wales, UK. The family, who have been farming for many years, have diversified their operations by leveraging their expertise in biomass and mechanical engineering. Their engineering arm, Woodtek Engineering, designs and manufactures efficient wood chip dryers and feed mechanisms. The company has developed a proprietary pyrolysis thermal combustion system that utilizes new and existing technologies to produce biochar with minimal emissions. The pilot system is operating at Caebardd, but the company plans to roll out dozens of pyrolysis units to process waste biomass in the UK and internationally.
Carbon Hill sources two types of waste woody biomass for their biochar production: hedgerow cuttings from farm fields and Green Waste Over Size (GWOS) from local parks and gardens. These feedstocks are largely underutilized in the UK and are typically either left to biodegrade or burn, leading to carbon loss. The biochar produced since the pilot facility started operation in 2021 is used at Caebardd, sold mixed with compost, or used in university soil trials. The company is heavily involved in developing the biochar industry in the UK, which is currently in its early stages.
The feedstock are typically let to rot or are burnt in the fields. In other words, in the absence of Carbon Hill's biochar production, the feedstock would release CO2 and short-lived climate pollutants including soot, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds such as methane, thus contributing to global warming. One-time application of biochar can reduce the need for the use of fertilser.
Carbon credits are crucial to expanding Carbon Hill's business and its ability to sequester carbon. The revenues generated through the sale of biochar carbon credits will be used to fund the development and production cost of pyrolysis units, to provide income to create demand and spread knowledge of biochar and to enable them to pursue a price strategy for their biochar that permits profitable growth.