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CEC - LOGO - 2013-14

COMMISSION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL COOPERATION

THREE COUNTRIES WORKING TOGETHER TO PROTECT OUR SHARED ENVIRONMENT



16. Converting Municipal Solid Waste to Biochar in North America
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The CEC Council has established a new grant program, the North American Partnership for Environmental Community Action (NAPECA) to support communities in their efforts to address environmental problems locally.
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Details

Organization:
The Climate Foundation

Grant amount:
$59,650 USD

Website:
www.ClimateFoundation.org

Names of other organizations involved in project
Gates Foundation, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA

Country where the project is located:
United States

Community(ies) directly affected by the project:
Palo Alto, California and other hosts across North America to the bio-hybrid pyrolyzer system.

Gallery

16. Converting Municipal Solid Waste to Biochar in North America

Executive summary:

Background: There is a strong need in North America to recycle municipal solid waste in a sustainable way for local agriculture so that our streams and estuaries are not loaded with excess macronutrients. Today, the phosphate cycle is broken; phosphate from Florida and other locations is being mined unsustainably to create high-dose fertilizers for use throughout North America.

These fertilizers wash into streams and watersheds, and eventually into rivers, lakes and estuaries, where the nutrient loading results in marine dead zones with low oxygen levels due to over nutrification. Restoring the phosphate cycle is critical to sustainable practices.  

Goals: The goal of the Climate Foundation bio-hybrid pyrolyzer project is to develop a pyrolyzer capable of processing up to two metric tons per day of biosolids and biomass greenwaste into safe and sanitary biochar for use in agriculture. This biochar can, in turn, reduce water use, reduce use of petrochemical fertilizer, and dramatically reduce runoff into watersheds across North America. 

Main activities: The Climate Foundation will develop an ISO cargo container pyrolyzer capable of processing up to two metric tons per day of biosolids and biomass green-waste into biochar. This system can be tested in Palo Alto, California, and tailored to requirements for communities throughout North America.

Results: The Climate Foundation bio-hybrid pyrolyzer restores such nutrient cycling in a sustainable way so that more nutrients are kept within local communities, enriching these communities by increasing agricultural productivity, adding clean jobs and reducing runoff in our communities throughout North America.