Earthly Biochar: Fighting climate change while restoring soil health

Posted on: 27/01/2022

Earthly Biochar, a start-up founded in 2018, aims to combat climate change while restoring soil health through biochar, a carbon-negative emissions technology for industry and gardeners alike. KTN helped Earthly Biochar build powerful connections and access funding to accelerate their innovation.

The KTN AgriFood team helps companies at all stages of their journey, including start-ups at the early stage of the innovation life cycle like Earthly Biochar. Click here to find out how we could help you.

The need 

To help address global warming, the UK is aiming to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero by 2050. This is one of the most ambitious targets in the world and to achieve this, the UK needs to reduce emissions as much as possible as well as sequestering the remaining emissions.

The solution 

Soil can play a major role in helping sequester greenhouse gas emissions. Earthy Biochar is working on rolling out biochar, a soil amendment technology, as a practical solution on a mass scale.

In addition to sequestering CO2, biochar has the potential to cut down water and fertiliser use as well as improving crop yields (Laird, et al. 2010Jeffery et al. 2011Ding et. al., 2017). This can make it an effective, long-term solution for agriculture that will benefit the sector and the planet.

Earthly Biochar is working towards building a large-scale pyrolysis plant for biochar production in the UK. This will make it less costly and therefore possible to use it in row crops.

How did KTN help? 

Earthly Biochar was one of the winners of the KTN’s Innovation Canvas Competition, which included a workshop session using this tool. The KTN Innovation Canvas helps businesses identify the most important challenges in developing an innovative product, service, or process.

Earthly Biochar founders Lottie Hawkins and Connor Lascelles were looking for support on how to fast-track their innovative solution through better prioritising and building traction, revenue, and awareness for their startup.

During a workshop with two of our AgriFood experts, Debbie Tully and Pedro Carvalho, they built a clear roadmap on how to realise their innovation and R&D ambitions. Debbie and Pedro put together a report highlighting key areas Earthly Biochar should focus their time and energy on.

The team also helped create powerful connections by suggesting potential industry partners that would help fast-track the startup’s work. Earthly Biochar has plans for collaboration with them and is also seeking further industry partners to develop their offer into new areas and to set up a production facility.

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The impact 

Use of biochar in crop production systems will contribute to achieving the UK’s Net Zero target. It’s a recognised carbon removal technology and also has the ability to improve crop yields (Laird et al., 2010Jeffery et al., 2011Ding et. al., 2017), reduce soil greenhouse gas emissions (Cayuela et al., 2014), and improve resource efficiency through increasing soil water and fertiliser retention (Biederman and Harpole, 2013Ali et al., 2017).

Earthly Biochar is on a mission to roll out biochar as a practical solution on a mass scale to improve the environment across all agriculture and horticulture industries.

"It has been a pleasure working with Earthly Biochar, a passionate and innovative start-up working to develop solutions to combat climate change. KTN is helping create positive change and the drive to reach Net Zero emissions for the UK and the AgriFood sector as a whole."

Debbie Tully, Knowledge Transfer Manager AgriFood, KTN

Empowering organisations in their journey to Net Zero

The UK has committed to an ambitious Net Zero target by 2050. To help realise these goals, KTN is delivering a range of Net Zero solutions that will have an impact on the large-scale change the planet needs.

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