Neutura Celebrates First Biochar Pilot In Indonesia

Neutura Celebrates First Biochar Pilot In Indonesia - Carbon Herald
Source: Neutura

Singapore carbon removal company Neutura has achieved a significant milestone with its biochar pilot project in Indonesia. 

The company has successfully produced the first batches of biochar using a plentiful yet neglected resource – empty fruit bunches (EFB) discarded by palm oil mills.

Just three months after securing funding from angel investors, Neutura has already delivered impressive results. 

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This pilot project represents the largest biochar production facility utilizing palm waste in Indonesia to date, with a processing capacity of 10 tons of biomass per month.

Neutura collaborated with esteemed Indonesian experts from Universitas Sumatera Utara (USU) to bring this project to life by using a truly innovative approach, which relies on a readily available material, previously considered to be waste. 

By converting EFB into high-quality biochar, Neutura addresses several challenges:

  • Waste Management: Neutura is diverting palm oil industry leftovers from being dumped or burned, both of which are detrimental to the environment.
  • Reduced Methane Emissions: Burning EFB releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Biochar production eliminates this issue.
  • Sustainable Practices: Neutura’s solution promotes responsible management of agricultural waste.

Neutura’s co-founder, Refi Reyhandi, shared insights from the extensive research, highlighting the potential of EFB: “After visiting and interviewing dozens of mills and factories across Southeast Asia, we recognized palm oil EFB as an exceptionally intriguing waste form.”

“Typically, it’s either accumulated in large piles or burned. Some even reintroduce it to the plantations as mulch, a method that releases methane and potentially fosters insect populations detrimental to plant growth,” Refi said. 

Exceptional Biochar and Promising Carbon Removal Potential

Neutura’s initial biochar production has exceeded expectations. The company has achieved biochar production that meets leading global standards, including the World Biochar Certificate (WBC) guidelines. 

This high-quality biochar boasts an organic carbon content exceeding 70% and an ideal H:Corg ratio below 0.05.

This translates to a significant impact, as Neutura estimates that each ton of its biochar can sequester up to 2 tons of CO2e from the atmosphere.

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But the benefits extend beyond carbon removal. Neutura’s biochar, rich in alkaline properties, is perfect for soil improvement and can act as a base for biofertilizers. Extensive testing has confirmed its safety for soil organisms, crops, and water sources.

The promising results garnered significant attention at the Bio360 Expo, the world’s leading bioenergy event held in January.  

While further testing is underway, Neutura sees potential applications beyond soil health, with possibilities in material science, construction, and infrastructure development.

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