MASH Makes is an Indo-Danish carbon negative company that transforms biomass residues into bio-energy commodities and biochar. MASH is guided by a vision of a future where energy production has become a source of positive environmental and social impact. We work towards this vision by developing novel biomass waste to energy solutions, which can be mass-produced and deployed on a global scale.
MASH Makes’ equipment portfolio has been built upon one simple philosophy – easy to deploy and scale. This enables highly attractive business cases to be developed around a plethora of possible agricultural residues and other waste streams anywhere in the world. To cater to these, a rather unique and highly scalable model has thus been adopted by MASH where a biomass-to-biochar business case is deployed in the form of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs).
MASH partners with farmers, NGOs, and organizations working in agriculture in India to convert crop residues that would have otherwise been burnt into biochar. Using its uniquely assembled thermochemical platform, MASH Makes pyrolyzes crop residues in a containerized machine that produces high-quality, EBC certified biochar with a low oxygen content and a high fixed carbon content. This makes it an ideal product for permanent carbon sequestration applications such as soil enhancement and land remediation.
The biochar produced will be used in the following applications:
Agriculture: We at MASH Makes are working towards creating the optimal use case for biochar in agriculture based on comprehensive research from a combination of pot trials and field trials. We aim to create a two-pronged solution centered upon the soil conditioning properties of biochar for permanent carbon sequestration into the soil.
Increasing crop yields: When biochar is used as a soil amendment, it stimulates soil fertility and improves soil quality by increasing soil pH, increasing the ability to retain moisture, attracting more useful fungi and other microbes, improving the ability of cation exchange, and preserving the nutrients in the soil. Biochar also has the ability to retain fertilisers and nutrients in the soil for longer periods compared to other soil amendments, and it prevents the leaching of these nutrients into surface water sources such as rivers or lakes. In addition to that, biochar increases the Water Holding Capacity of the soil. Thus, in the longer run, biochar will enable us to increase the crop yield from a piece of land while using less water for the same.Land restoration:
Biochar reduces soil density, increases soil aeration and helps reclaim degraded soils. It has the ability to adsorb more cations per unit carbon compared to other soil organic matter due to its greater surface area, negative surface charge and charge density. Soils have their physical properties depending on the nature of mineral and organic matter present in it. When biochar is added to these soils, it affects the depth, texture, structure, porosity, and consistency by changing the surface area, density and pore and particle-size distribution.
The buildings and construction sector accounted for 36% of final energy use and 39% of energy and process related carbon dioxide emissions, 11% of which resulted from manufacturing building materials and products such as steel, cement and glass (International Energy Agency and the United Nations Environment Programme, 2019).
The use of biochar in building materials provides a unique opportunity to improve the carbon footprint of the industry, while also benefiting from a host of co-benefits based on biochar's physical and chemical properties. We are exploring multiple uses of biochar in construction materials:Concrete:
Positive effects on electrical, thermal and acoustic insulation properties have also been observed by the addition of biochar in concrete. Additionally, when added in quantities below 6% w/w, negligible detrimental effects on the compressive strength of the concrete.Cement Blocks:
Production of traditional clay bricks consumes an average of 18 tons of coal per 100,000 bricks. The large amounts of coal used for brick firing leave behind bottom ash as residue. The production process also leads to significant air pollution in terms of CO2, CO, SO2, NOx and suspended particulate matter (SPM). These two factors, combined, cause respiratory health problems while also causing damage to property and crops. To mitigate these problems and make the brick-making process carbon neutral, MASH's biochar has been added to bricks (in different proportions) and the properties have been tested. Upto 20% w/w biochar has been observed to have no notable negative impact on the brick properties.