SUEZ Group and Airex Energy have formed a partnership in order to provide solutions to regions and industries on their path towards carbon neutrality. The expertise of the two Groups will enable them to industrialize the recovery of biomass residues into biochar (a stable form of organic carbon), which is essential to the resilience, vitality and fertility of urban and agricultural soils.
With expertise in the fields of organic residues, soil amendments, agricultural biofertilizers and smart irrigation, SUEZ will use the CarbonFX torrefaction technology developed by Airex Energy for the global deployment of industrial-scale production plants that transform residual lignocellulosic biomass (bark, sawdust, waste wood, etc.) into a stable carbon with high technical and environmental added-value known as “biochar.”
The conversion of waste wood residues, from silviculture to the lumber and wood processing industries, into biochar enables the extension of the “carbon sink” effect of natural plant photosynthesis, which captures a quarter of global CO2 emissions each year. Biochar is a viable solution to remove carbon from the atmosphere and sequester it in soils for several centuries. When used as a soil amendment, biochar improves plant growth and yields of urban and agricultural soils by enhancing water and nutrient retention, soil aeration and micro-organisms activity.
The industrial production of biochar from forest residues, resulting from increasingly frequent natural accidents (disease, infestation, storms, etc.), is part of the fight against climate change, the management of its impacts and the adaptation of ecosystems. Biochar provides new opportunities to the biomass segment, by delivering a complementary, credible and perennial energy recovery alternative. It constitutes a certified CCUS solution while generating major co-benefits in favor of sound and sustainable agriculture, the preservation of natural capital, soils, their ecosystems and water resources.
Due to its intrinsic properties, biochar can also be usefully mixed and combined with a variety of materials, including cement, and thus contribute to improving the carbon footprint of the final product.
"Thanks to this new partnership with Airex Energy, we will provide our customers with access to high-quality carbon credits while helping the agricultural industry to strengthen soil resilience and food security. The properties of biochar, in terms of carbon capture, but also fertilization of agricultural soils and optimization of water supply to crops, make it one of the most popular CO2 sequestration solutions on the market. Its development is fully in line with our strategy aimed at providing our customers with 100% sustainable solutions and thus contributing to the achievement of carbon neutrality." said Diane Galbe ,Group SEVP - Smart & Environmental Solutions BU and Strategy.
Sylvain Bertrand, CEO of AIREX ENERGY said: “We are very pleased to partner with the SUEZ Group to accelerate the deployment of CarbonFXTM technology on a global scale. SUEZ Group is recognized for its expertise in the management, treatment and recovery of residual organic materials and is a leading partner to develop the industrial production of biochar. Through this partnership, our goal is to have a sustainable impact on climate by producing hundreds of thousands of tons of biochar in the years ahead.”