2019 IBI Biochar Study Tour Spotlight: Carbofex OY

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Study Tour Itinerary and Travel Information

This year we will be visiting Carbofex, the largest EBC-certified production facility in Europe, located in Tampere, Finland, about 2 hours from Helsinki. Carbofex’s pyrolysis technology has been operational since 2017. Their inaugural plant can generate more than 900 Mt of biochar annually.  The biochar has high surface area and very low polyaromatic hydrocarbons. Carbofex is also the first biochar producer to receive CO2 removal revenues from the Puro marketplace.

Do they utilize any of the other co-products of biochar generation?

The Carbofex technology produces heat which is fully utilized in a district heating system during the wintertime which enables the city to use significantly less fossil fuels. Tampere has been able to reduce their carbon footprint by 500-1000 t CO2e annually thanks to the Carbofex technology.

Alternatively, the plant can separate and store the pyrolysis oil which can be used during times of high heat demand. In lieu of generating heat, the pyro-oil can be used as a bitumen additive. Carbofex is working with the Tampere District on piloting this use in a parking lot not far from the production facility. They are also working on a methodology for quantifying the carbon sequestration potential for utilizing pyro-oil in this manner.

What else will we learn about the Carbofex operation?

Participants on the study tour will visit the production plant and see various interesting biochar demonstration gardens created by Carbofex which have been undertaken to educate the community about biochar including urban structured soils, hydroponic gardening and Zero Fiber soils (a combination of paper pulp sludge, biochar and biosolids used in remediating mine tailings).

More about our Carbofex tour host: Sampo Tukiainen:

Our plant tour host will be Carbofex CEO, Sampo Tukiainen, one of the most experienced figures in the pyrolysis industry. Sampo is a serial entrepreneur who has been involved with some of the most prominent bio-refining technologies over the past two decades. He has been intimately involved with a number of different pyrolysis and gasification technologies and is helping to build a collaborative carbon leasing system with other EBC certified biochar producers throughout Europe. He has been making and using biochar since the late 90’s in soils and non-soil growing media, cattle feed and personal care such as toothpaste!

For any questions, please contact Kathleen Draper at draper@ithaka-institute.org.