Re:char – One Farm’s Trash is Another Farm’s Treasure

Posted by on February 19, 2010 in Green, North America

The following post is from the beautifully articulated TBD email by All Day Buffet.

Carbon offsets? Cap and trade? As carbon dioxide levels reach a critical tipping point, the human race is scrambling to find solutions to the problem of climate change. But how do we make them sustainable?

Jason Aramburu started asking himself that same question in a clean coal technology lab at Princeton. From the lab to an artist’s metal shop in Brooklyn (fun fact: Jason learned to weld by watching YouTube videos), he started working on the technology behind re:char. re:char’s process addresses three major problems — food, energy and climate — all at once. It converts agricultural waste, like husks, seeds, and animal waste, into renewable fuel and biochar (which is solid carbon, like the charcoal in your barbeque grill). Burying biochar sequesters carbon, stopping greenhouse gases from being released into the air; even better, mixing it into soil helps increase crop yields.

The process is a veritable Cinderella story of carbon tech (minus the glass slippers and pumpkins) that has been championed by everyone from PopTech to The Economist. We can see why: as the technology expands, it could improve the lives of millions of farmers and prove that clean tech solutions don’t have to trade one problem for another.

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