Biomass Pyrolysis is the thermo-chemical decomposition of organic materials by heating in the absence of oxygen. Controlled pyrolysis has been approved by the UN as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) for avoidance of methane production from biomass decay. Source: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Dedicating land to biofuels increases carbon emissions. In fact, corn-based ethanol can double greenhouse gas emissions over 30 years. (Searchinger et al. 2008, Science)
Biomass Pyrolysis is carbon negative!
- Sequesters up to 50% of the initial carbon (C) input and returns it to the soil.
- The initial loss of C is used for energy production to offset fuel use.
- Can use agricultural residues but DOES NOT require new crops to be grown to fuel the process
“One promising approach to lowering CO2 in the atmosphere while producing energy is biochar bio-energy, based on low-temperature pyrolysis. This technology relies on capturing the off-gases from thermal decomposition of wood or grasses to produce heat, electricity, or biofuels. Biochar is a major by-product of this pyrolysis, and has remarkable environmental properties.”
– Johannes Lehmann (Lehmann, Johannes, 2007. Bioenergy in the Black, Front Ecol Environ 2007; 5(7): 381–387)