antria Industries LLC has officially opened an industrial-scale biochar production facility in Dunlap, Tenn., after weeks of testing and a smooth “first burning.”
The company has been working for the past eight months to develop biorefineries that transform biomass waste into biochar through a pressurized partially pyrolytic gasification system.
A standard process system consists of two 3.5-ton autoclave (reactor) units, which are pressurized and sealed once the biomass is loaded into canisters and placed inside. Electric heaters are turned on to ignite the feedstock then turned off, and the autoclave temperature is controlled by a dual-draft process. Under elevated pressure and heat, the feedstock will begin to carbonize at specific temperatures, ranging from 400 to 800 degrees Celsius (750 to 1,470 degrees Fahrenheit). During carbonization, gases from the process are pumped through catalysts, broken down into simpler compounds and sent through filters to scrub them. When the 25- to-40-minute process is complete, the biochar is set in a cooling pool for 24 hours.