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Pitch

With our pyrolysis plant we want to offer a solution to mitigate GHG, restore land, and ensure sustainable agriculture by applying biochar.


Description

Summary

Our pyrolysis plant, Bio-Alternative (BA), delivers a solution to the growing waste problem worldwide. Our design is unique in its vertical construction and for the first time it is possible to not only recycle pelleted organic pieces, but to pyrolyze any type of organic waste (wood, feces, even plastics) and use the output materials (raw oil, biogas and biochar) as a renewable energy source (biogas and raw oil), resp. to apply biochar in teh soil as a strategy for co2-mitigation, as well as to increase soil fertility by applying either biochar or directly terra preta (biochar mixed with humus and compost). This design is novel, as the newest insights of scientific research have been included and it is the solution for industrialized, as well as developing countries, as it offers a solution as well for decentralized energy production by implementing a grid of pyrolysis plants. Our design is based on the thought of making it suitable for any kind of requirements of the user, and thus can be specifically reproduced to it's need. As we link our product to our work related to sustainable agriculture and environmental education, our pyrolysis plant is part of a holistic approach to adapt to changing circumstances and making human-relevant ecosystems more resilient.


Is this proposal for a practice or a project?

Project


What actions do you propose?

The implementation can be realized adapted to the needs of the user. We either can produce 100% Swiss-made products or if requested produce low-cost machines with a partner in Asia. The production of such a machine  takes around 8 months, in the buying price we include the build-up, as well as the instructional courses to use the plant. We offer the opportunity to either buy just the end products  of our own machine (prototype on our farm), or produce entire machines, which again offers the unique opportunity to the owner to earn money by recycling organic waste.


Who will take these actions?

The implementation of our own prototype has been entirely made by the founders of Pyrolysis GmbH, Alexandra Gavilano and Hannes Blaser. Also the further realisation of projects in other countries will be made by them, however always in close collaboration with organisations or individual actors from the region.


Where will these actions be taken?

The implementation can be realized adapted to the needs of the user. We either can produce 100% Swiss-made products or if requested produce low-cost machines with a partner in Asia. The production of such a machine  takes around 8 months, in the buying price we include the build-up, as well as the instructional courses to use the plant. We offer the opportunity to either buy just the end products  of our own machine (prototype on our farm), or produce entire machines, which again offers the unique opportunity to the owner to earn money by recycling organic waste. We currently have requests from organic farmers from Angola, Burkina Faso, and a Swiss that makes projects in Sri Lanka. We further are ongoing a collaboration with representatives of the ECOWAS states to analyze the applicability to launch a decentralized energy grid with a number of pyrolysis plants.


In addition, specify the country or countries where these actions will be taken.

Switzerland


Country 2

Angola


Country 3

Burkina Faso


Country 4

Sri Lanka


Country 5

No country selected


Impact/Benefits


What impact will these actions have on greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?

The practical implementation of the pyrolysis is interesting for so many different actors: farmers (plant and / or livestock based ), recycling stations, villages and cities, food producers / industry, etc. As the machine can be produced depending on the seize required, the machine allows a small-, medium-, and large-scale production of biochar and energy that can be used local or be an input to a national agricultural and energy grid. Especially as land degradation neutrality (SDG 15.3) and climate change mitigation are at the pulse of time, our pyrolysis plant offers a solution applicable on many different levels. About 500g CO2 can be fixated permanently in abut 135 g of biochar.


What are other key benefits?

There are a number of key benefits:

Ecological: CO2-Mitigation and Methane reduction due to closed burning under controlled oxygen delivery, land restoration and humus building possible (biochar application and/or terra preta), allows farming also on mineral-rich soil, enriches biodiversity, makes ecosystems more resilient and lowers washout of nutrients in soil. Suitable for any climatic zone.

Economy: Allows ot build decentralized energy grids (e.g. for developing countries interesting as it is environmental-friendly and relatively low-cost), ensures food sovereignity as land can be restored and made more resilient, owner of a plant can earn money by selling output of plant (biochar, raw oil, biogas).

Social: Increases collaboration between communities (e.g. heat composites between members of communities, community recycling system that profits from the outputs directly), enable developing countries to be independent of international energy grid, solution to growing waste problem (including plastics) _> increases health as a solution for organic waste available.


Costs/Challenges


What are the proposal’s projected costs?

We received the official permit of the state f Switzerland as well as from the EU to produce with our machine and also reproduce our plant for selling. However, we are requiring 40'000 Swiss Francs t build a safety fire wall, as we live in a rather dry area. Due to the long period we had to wait to receive the official permit (14 months) we now are applying here, to at least receive a certain amount to cover the costs, we for now are paying form our won pocket, as we can't start production without this wall.


Timeline

Finalize GmbH foundation - August/September 2017

Build Firewall and finalize safety infrastructure - August /September 2017

Start production and marketing for plants  - October 2017

Visit Sri Lanka and ECOWAS states for implementation procedure - planned in June 2018


About the author(s)

Alexandra Gavilano, environmental scientist and COO/CVO of Pyrolysis GmbH. Project leader in WOCAT, focusing on sustainable land management in developing countries and knowledge exchange. Founder of Rootscamp and fossil-free.ch Switzerland.

Hannes Blaser, CEO Pyrolysis GmbH, biodynamic farmer and owner of Bio Blaser in Salavaux. Technical Engineer of the prototype plant.


Related Proposals


References

CharNet:

http://charnet.ch/publikationen

Video on pyrolysis procedure:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3K1zWAYDvMA