Piloting Biochar production from Food & Beverage Waste
Sanergy will pilot an established technology, pyrolysis, which, in simple terms, will use heat to convert biomass waste streams into a carbon-rich, stable material called biochar. Initial feasibility work will determine required modifications to the pyrolysis plant design to ensure optimal quantity and quality of biochar; as well as readiness for carbon credits. Biochar is valuable as a stand-alone end product with application for water filtration and soil remediation. The biochar will also be incorporated into Sanergy’s existing organic fertilizer offering to produce a low-cost high-quality blend for farmers in Kenya. This will contribute to enhanced crop yields by improving soil fertility, thus positively impacting local agriculture. Initial feasibility work will determine the most suitable organic waste types for feedstock, with avocado and mango waste and sugarcane bagasse under consideration, and will also determine the most suitable location for the pilot facility.
The pilot will have the capacity to deal with over 1000 tonnes of organic waste per month and promises considerable cost-saving benefits to manufacturers by offering low-cost collection and year-round waste management. The low-cost collection facility will lead to a reduction in the amount of organic waste that is dumped, burned or sent to landfills. It therefore mitigate some of the known environmental impacts associated with these conventional methods of disposal (dust, leachate and water contamination), as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions that would otherwise be released as methane or carbon dioxide.
The proposed pilot plant in Kenya marks one of the first scale biochar ventures in East Africa. It will pave the way for further application to high-volume waste streams such as sugarcane bagasse, coffee skins, and rice husks. The project spans over two years, beginning with the design phase and a feasibility study to test its financial viability before culminating the production into full operation.
Sanergy is currently working on a feasibility study to assess the quality of the biochar as well as the carbon credit potential of the project.