The Global Climate Platform

CLIMATE & ENERGY TECHNOLOGY

Thursday, 22, February, 2024

CHAR processes low value waste streams (wood wastes, digestate and biosolids) by heating the materials at high temperature in the complete absence of oxygen.

This unique approach called high temperature pyrolysis (“HTP”), simultaneously creating two streams of valuable renewable outputs, biocarbons (biocoal or biochar) and renewable gases (green hydrogen or renewable natural gas).

Biocoal from CHAR is a metallurgical coal drop-in replacement.  As steel mills seek to reduce their GHG emissions, replacing the metallurgical coal with biocoal can allow steel mills to be truly carbon neutral.

Green hydrogen from electrolysis is also only as “green” as the electricity used to produce it.  Green hydrogen from HTP is truly green, carbon-negative, hydrogen.

TECHNOLOGY.  While pyrolysis has a long history, High Temperature Pyrolysis (HTP), CHAR’s process is a carbon negative, closed loop, self-sustaining system that heats waste materials in the complete absence of oxygen, simultaneously creating two product streams. Materials do not burn and cannot create harmful emissions or odors to create the desired biocarbon and renewable gas outputs.  CHAR has published IP, IP pending and in process, as well as trade-secrets.

PROBLEM ADDRESSED.   Waste is generally destined for landfills, or are otherwise left to decay, where they generate GHG emissions.  Green hydrogen is currently produced primarily by electrolysis (using electricity to split water), but this method is limited by the available grid infrastructure and green hydrogen is only as “green” as electricity grid used to produce it.

ORIGINS.  The company was founded in 2011 to commercialize the completed by company founder while completing his MASc in Chemical Engineering at the University of Toronto.  The initial innovation, SulfaCHAR, utilized HTP to create activated carbons from digestate (a low value “compost” produced from first generation renewable natural gas facilities).

CURRENT STATUS. CHAR has two plants under construction, one in partnership with Hitachi Zosen Inova, and a second in Canada that will be a build, own, operate facility.  CHAR has five additional plants under development.  Trailing 12-month revenues of ~ 1.5 million and over $100 million USD in project pipeline.

OWNERSHIP. Approximately $12M USD has been invested in the company primarily by a small group of Canadian energy executives and venture investors and from grants from the Canadian government. This closely held company is publicly traded on the Toronto Venture Exchange. Market Cap approximately $25 million. Approximately 17% is owned by insiders.

IMPACT. CHAR could have a significant impact on the reduction of GHG emission and acceleration of the low-carbon, green hydrogen market by processing wastes and residuals without the limitations of the electricity grid.  As steel mills seek to reduce their GHG emissions, replacing the metallurgical coal with biocoal can allow steel mills to be truly carbon neutral.

FINANCING. The modest footprint (9500 sf) and investment of 30 million USD is required to build a plant a 3-year return on investment. The company is looking to raise $20 million to expand and for international expansion.

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