The CapChar Project

A design study for the Direct Air Capture and Greenhouse Gas Removal Technologies competition run by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Our proposal is to build a pilot pyrolysis plant in North Devon that can demonstrate Greenhouse Gas Removal (GGR) by efficiently converting local low grade wood and sequestering it in local soils.

The capchar project proposed site

Led by CapChar Ltd alongside partners Biochar Project Services Ltd and UK Hardwoods Ltd, this project aims to demonstrate that low grade woody biomass can be converted into biochar (as a stable form of carbon) and sequestered in UK soils, cost effectively to provide immediate near permanent greenhouse
gas removal. The proposed pilot project will be located alongside a sawmill in South Molton, North Devon to validate the solution in an operational setting. The technology will be developed in three phases, firstly the completion of an initial 1t/day biochar output technology, which will confirm technical and environmental performance. Secondly the addition of waste heat recovery through a drying operation, to advance productivity and finally the addition a second kiln unit and drying operation, doubling capacity, to show how modularisation provides a  path to scale to a 4t/day biochar output operation in the future.

The costs for removing carbon dioxide will be within the aims of the competition at less than £200/tCO2e and 20+ pyrolysis plants would be needed to provide a clear route to offset proposed targets of at least 50kt of CO2e annually by 2030.