Green District Heating With Biochar

Apr 23, 2024

The German climate tech start-up Novocarbo has partnered with the municipal utility of Bochum (Germany) for the newest site of its net-zero solution. The Carbon Removal Park Bochum will not only make district heating in Bochum greener but will also produce a special type of coal that can help in the fight against climate change.

The German climate tech company Novocarbo has announced the kick-off for its largest Carbon Removal Park (CDR-Park) in Germany to date. The latest site of the Hamburg-based start-up, which uses a special net-zero technology to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, produce biochar, and generate renewable energy, is being built in Bochum in collaboration with the municipal utility of the city. Stadtwerke Bochum is the first municipal utility in a major German city to use climate-neutral heat from biochar production to make its district heating network greener.

Climate-friendly coal that accelerates decarbonisation

Novocarbo’s climate solution, Biochar Carbon Removal (BCR), uses pyrolysis to process regional, biogenic waste materials into biochar and regenerative heat. The biochar permanently stores the carbon from the biomass and can be used as a soil conditioner in agriculture or as a climate-neutral additive in the construction industry, among other applications. The surplus energy generated during the pyrolysis process can be fed into district heating grids as green heat. “We can’t think of a better location for our new Carbon Removal Park: coal mining has shaped the Ruhr region for centuries and we are delighted to now be producing a future-oriented, climate-friendly coal here that can help decarbonise the former industrial region,” says Caspar von Ziegner, CEO of Novocarbo.

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