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Climate-positive district heating with biochar from agricultural residues

A unique project that aims to generate climate-positive district heating from the pyrolysis of agricultural residues has been launched in Sweden. The heat production binds a percentage of the biogenic carbon in the form of biochar that is to be used as a soil improvement medium on fields and football pitches.

In southwest Sweden, Skånefrö AB, one of the country’s leading seed companies and Ecoera AB an environment innovation and biochar developer have announced the start of an industrial-scale project to generate district heating and biochar production through pyrolysis of agriculture residues.

To be built at Skånefrö’s facility in Hammenhög, it will provide district heating to approximately 60 new heating customers including an algae production plant operated by SimrisAlg. In addition, the plant will have an annual capacity to produce around 1 500 tonnes of biochar which will be used as a soil improvement medium.

The SEK 31 million (≈ EUR 3.25 million) project has been awarded support by the County Administrative Board in Skåne through co-funding from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency’s “Climate Step” programme (Klimatklivet).

Skånefrö's Tommarp district heat facility uses pellets made from seed residues (photo courtesy Skånefrö).

Skånefrö’s Tommarp district heat facility uses pellets made from seed residues (photo courtesy Skånefrö).

Skånefrö already operates a district heat plant at its Tommarp facility where seed production residues are pelletised and used as fuel in the plant. The award winning EU LIFE co-funded Bioagro Energy plant was also developed together with Ecoera.

 

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