Lakeland College has received $900,000 in federal funding to acquire two mobile pyrolysis units to test, evaluate and demonstrate biochar products for the agricultural and environmental marketplace. Additional support towards this project includes a contribution of $450,000 from Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF).
Biochar is the carbon-rich residue produced by pyrolysis, a process of burning organic matter such as agricultural and forestry waste in a low-oxygen environment. The substance can be used to improve soil texture and crop productivity, as well as accelerate revegetation of uncultivable lands.
Preliminary studies also indicate that biochar has the potential to clean up waste water in the petroleum sector.
The transportable pilot-scale pyrolysis units will enable Lakeland College’s Centre for Sustainable Innovation (CSI) and industry partners to evaluate the quality of biochar from various feedstocks.
Lakeland will also co-ordinate field trials to assess the performance of biochar.