Puro.earth listed
AGSP

Biochar - Regeneration in Spain's Olive groves

Quantity
27 000
Pre-CORCs
Average Price
200 €
Per CORC
Production Timeline
Q1 2023-Q1 2025

About the project

PERMANENT CO2 REMOVAL and SIMULTANEOUS IMPLEMENTATION OF CIRCULAR ECONOMY

Organic biomass like plants contain carbon that has been stored in the plant. When that plant decays it releases that carbon (and other gasses) back into the world.  Pyrolysis of the biomass interrupts this cycle. Pyrolysis binds the plant's carbon molecules tightly and locks them into a stable form called biochar.  Biochar remains stable for up to a thousand years. This is why biochar is considered an excellent carbon sink. Additionally, our facility will only process biomass that is sustainably sourced, or considered "waste" from another industry. 

Amata Green will be building a Biochar Production Facility in Spain, the Heart of Olive Country for the world.  This facility will process discarded waste from the olive growers and mills, and turn it into biochar through pyrolysis.  This facility will produce a starting minimum of 12.000 (twelve thousand) tons CO2 eq annually (36.000 over 3 yrs), with a later scale-up to its potential of 24.000 (twenty-four thousand) CO2 eq, annually (72.000 over 3 yrs).  Moreover, 5 more similar facilities are planned in the [near] future years at similar scales.

The region of Spain in which the first facility will be located, is an economically-depressed area where the largest industry is olive farming and olive oil production. The olive industry currently composts, landfills or burns in open air, its waste biomass. These are unsustainable practices, causing a rise in CO2 emissions, methane emissions and air pollution.  

Moreover, depleted soils, aquifer drain, erosion and nutrient leaching plague the farming communities. It is Amata Green’s desire to assist the province in implementing a circular economy by taking this waste biomass and transforming it into a valuable product which can then be put back into the soils to complete the cycle. Not only will this divert the waste biomass from being burned or rotting, but the resultant biochar placed in the soil will help to bring life back to soils, allow aquifer recharge, help landscapes resist erosion, while also avoiding nutrient leaching.  Our facilities will also bring jobs, income, and economic diversity to the region. 


HOW BIOCHAR REMOVES CO2

Biochar is produced from biomass or biowaste, through pyrolysis (heated in absence of oxygen). Pyrolysis creates an aromatic, stable form of carbon, which is tightly bound and is not released back into the atmosphere.  These carbon bonds are not even broken down by microbes in the soil. Resultant biochar has a high fixed carbon content and chemical and structural stability far greater than in the original biomass materials.

Additionally, our pyrolysis equipment manufacturer has proven themselves to be leaders in the industry, already having a facility in operation, producing biochar, and selling CORCS in this marketplace. In fact, they have been doing so for many years and are typically sold out several years in advance. Amata Green’s equipment and production process will be verified for carbon negativity through a life cycle assessment after operations have commenced. It is anticipated that our biochar will capture and store more CO2 than is emitted in the manufacturing process.  CO2 Removal Certificates (CORCs) from this project are compatible with Net Zero targets.

 

OUR ANTICIPATED CO2 REMOVAL RATE

This biochar is anticipated to be carbon net-negative at the rate of: 

1 ton of biochar removing ~3,01 tons of CO2 eq. from the atmosphere into long-term storage in the product. First facility will sink ~12.000 tons CO2 eq annually. This estimate is based on our extensive research performed on the input material, and the capabilities of our machinery. 

 

Key Project Data

  • Type of project info
    New facility or site
  • Carbon removal methodology info
    Biochar
  • Durability of carbon removal in years (number) info
    1000
  • Co-benefits info
    BIOCHAR CO-BENEFITS
    • Natural increase in soil carbon
    • Better water retention in soil
    • Erosion control on hillsides and in fields
    • Fertilizer & other inputs retention
    • Reduction in runoff into waterways
    • Reduction in aquifer pollution
    • Reduction in water usage / aquifer draw, through water retention properties
    • Increase in organic soil matter activity (brings life into the soil)
    • Increased yields in agriculture
    • Healthier plants, more disease and pest resistant

    Soil Organic Carbon (SOC): Biochar has a positive direct effect on SOC by providing recalcitrant carbon and an indirect positive effect on SOC by stabilization of soil carbon. 

    Soil Inorganic Carbon (SIC)
    : A preliminary study shows that biochar increases SIC stock both directly and indirectly.

    Albedo:
    Biochar tends to make soils darker and, hence, to reduce surface albedo. 

    Soil emissions:
    Changes in soil emissions depend on the gas (i.e., N2O, CH4, NOx, and NH3), biochar properties, and soil conditions.

    Water retention:
    Biochar increases soil water retention and plant available water, making more water available for evapotranspiration under cultivation and evaporation under fallow. Under fallow, biochar tends to reduce evaporation.

    Net Primary Productivity (NPP)
    : Biochar increased NPP fixes more carbon in vegetation, increasing residues left on field and root and increasing root exudates, which may participate in increasing SOC. Under cultivation, biochar tends to decrease soil temperature fluctuations. 

    Agricultural soil erosion is the most serious threat to agriculture sustainability and food security. A decrease in agricultural yield on highly eroded fields can be as high as 65–80%. Biochar can help preventing soil erosion. Better soil hydrology and soil wet aggregate stability reduces water run-off and soil loss. 

    Saline and sodic soils occupy 500 Mha of land and is expected to increase under climate change. Biochar improves plant response and alleviates stress on crops grown under drought and salt stress.

    Liming:  Biochar can act as a liming agent and can increase soil buffering capacity through carbonates, increased cation exchange capacity (CEC), and base cation provision.

    Heavy metals: Biochar can immobilize heavy metals through sorption, precipitation, and pH/oxidoreduction reactions and was shown to consistently reduce plant heavy metals concentration.

    Biochar reduces nitrate (NO3−) leaching but has mixed effect on leaching of ammonium (NH4+) and phosphorus. Nitrogen and phosphorus leaching from agricultural fields are well known for eutrophication of freshwater and marine ecosystem and also affect groundwater and drinking water quality. Biochar has potential to reduce soil N leaching by 12–29% and another study showed changes in P leaching from decrease of 62% to increase by 152%.

    As a remediation tool, biochar decreases bioaccumulation of heavy metals in plants, thus reducing risk toward human health

    Used in other industries, it is a replacement of materials and their emissions: Use of Biochar can displace use of fertilizer, water filters or building materials (ie: cement industry) that would have caused emissions.

       

    FACILITY CO-BENEFITS

    • Pyrolysis turns a waste product into a commodity, creating a circular economy
    • Ag waste in Spain is currently burned or landfilled, pyrolysis will help end these unsustainable practices
    • Adding Green Jobs and economic prosperity to an economically depressed area
    • Educate the agricultural sector on sustainability and regenerative practices
    • Generation of energy for local use, reducing grid strain & resident costs
    • Amata Green will also clean olive mill wastewater and return it as irrigation water--an important service in a water-strained region
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) info
  • Production facility country info
    Spain
  • Site visits are possible info
    Yes
  • Certifications or assessments info
    Amata Green's equipment manufacturer (Carbofex) has a successful pilot plant which has been in operation for 4+ years.  This pilot facility has undergone and passed LCA and certification requirements of the EBC.  Amata Green's new facility in Spain will be the home of Carbofex pyrolysis machinery, built in the Carbofex pilot facility in Finland and installed at Amata Green's Spain location.  Amata Green plans to later scale up to build 5 more facilities in Spain.
  • Planned start date of construction info
    04/01/2022
  • Planned start date of production info
    31/12/2022
  • Annual carbon removal capacity in tCO2e (number) info
    12000
  • Additionality info

    ACCELERATED IMPACT THROUGH YOUR COMMITMENT

    Price per CORC: EUR 200. 
    While this price may be a little higher than some, it will allow Amata Green to have a bankable contract to release investment funds. Your CORC commitment will jumpstart the funding process and, as the facility comes online and revenues begin, CORC prices will adjust to a more median number.  

    Without CORC commitments, the project will not begin until full outside funding is secured, likely delaying this project for several years or indefinitely.  CORC commitment ensures CO2 removal through this project. 
     

    Ideal:  A 2-year commitment would allow the project to begin its setup immediately. 12.000 CORCs per year is the minimum amount of CORCs the facility will produce.

             12.000 X 2 year = 24.000 (twenty-four thousand) CORCs

             24.000 CORCs X EUR 200 = EUR 4.800.000  

     

    Timeline with CORC funding committed*: 

    Today, Phase 1 (Planning) ends and CORC commitment initiates funding capture.  

     

    Month 0-3, Begin Phase 2 (Building)  When CORC funding finalizes then we can finalize outputs contracts, put down payments on equipment/land, begin land prep, begin permitting process.  

     

    Month 3-6, Fully in Phase 2  Site construction begins, equipment is being built, permits finalized. Month 6-11, End of Phase 2  Equipment is installed, facility is ready and commissioned.  

     

    Month 11-12, Phase 3 (Operational Phase)  First biochar is produced.  CO2 is sequestered for 1000 years!! 

     

    Without CORC investment funds, our timeline will be at least 2 years behind the above timeline, or delayed indefinitely. With full CORCs committed, the Amata Green Facility #1 should be commissioned within ~12 months of CORC investment and will then begin producing biochar and CO2 reduction.  Scale-up is possible as soon as 6 months after commissioning.  Subsequent facilities will be planned the following year.  The earth cannot wait.

    *Timeline is approximate.

     

  • Implementation of this project is subject to receiving funding (equity or debt) info
    Yes
  • Implementation of this project is subject to permits (building, environmental, etc.) info
    Yes
  • Implementation of this project is subject to reaching minimum pre-CORC commitments info
    Yes
  • The above conditions are expected to be fulfilled on this date
    01/12/2022
  • Link to high resolution images/media assets

About the supplier

Amata Green

Amata Green is the project developer.
The first facility will be constructed in Andalucia Province, Jaén Spain. Subsequent facilities will be constructed in Andalucia Province, Spain.
The project here focuses on construction of the first facility, but facility scale-up is anticipated nearly immediately, and then construction of 5 more facilities is anticipated in the first 10 years.
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Project related documents

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