I have been getting a lot of inquiries in the past several weeks, and the range of applications is very interesting. Yesterday I spoke with a fellow with a new sawmill venture in Dolores, CO. They will be generating a lot of waste (about half of the wood in a log is turned into waste biomass when sawing boards) and they will need to dry the lumber. If they use pyrolyzers instead of biomass burners to make the heat for the kilns they can avoid using fossil fuels and make as much money from the biochar as they will make from the lumber. He was pretty enthused.
Thursday I visited a pecan processor in Las Cruces, NM, who is currently giving away the shells as they are a waste liability. I was looking for a source of shells since we presently can't get any woody biomass from the Forest Service and I happened to ask if they had any process heat needs. As it happens, they buy $4,400 worth of natural gas every month to sterilize the nuts in a hot water bath and to dry them afterwards. I did a pro forma this morning that indicates we could provide them with a biochar+heat pyrolysis system that would replace their NG bill using about 20% of their shell production and make $500,000 in char (at below the rock bottom of current market prices). The ROI on the heat component alone would be 20% annually, and with char sales included the ROI would be 200%. They are kind of excited at the prospect. As it happens, two of the owners are also pecan farmers, so they can use the biochar in their orchards and then market their demonstrated soil improvements to the rest of their supply chain, thus building the market for the char.
So what do you call it - Capitalism, or Socialism - if a person became wealthy as a result of using their time and money to create sustainable local economies where large numbers of people benefitted, where lots of jobs were made, and environmental problems were reversed?
I am calling it Americanism. The Green New Deal needs to adopt this approach.
You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete. R. Buckminster Fuller