Breaking ground in Finland

Pia Henrietta K
carboculture
Published in
3 min readMar 17, 2023

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Our new automation test rig gets core equipment installed!

Arriving on site, I quickly get told where not to go as I put on my steel toes. I could not help but smile the whole morning — I was expecting a snowstorm, but instead I got greeted with sunshine and warm hugs from very excited team in high-vis jackets.

We are installing key equiptment at our new automation test facility in Kerava, Finland, about 25 mins from the (Helsinki) city centre. Reactor 3 is really important to us — it will demonstrate 24/7 operation in a real world environment, and in addition to gathering system data needed to move to a full scale commercial facility, also be a testbed for European feedstocks, as well as produce biochar for Nordic pilots.

Testing, testing

We’ve already proven that we can scale our core technology with R1, R2. Why build another test rig?

We are stress testing all the auxiliary equipment (think conveyors, etc) working in fully automated sync before moving to the full scale, industrial size commercial facility.
R3 is already one of the larger biochar production units in Europe, and the first-of-a-kind commercial scale-up will be many times that.
R3 continues to develop our full facility model towards a modular, quickly deployable carbon removal solution at scale.

“Our fully automated facility will showcase the quality of our engineering and outputs to our commercial and project finance partners.
We’re already building R3 to industry standard (engineering principles), which shows the excellent quality of our in-house design, engineering and deployment”, says Henrietta Moon, CEO and co-founder of Carbo Culture.

In the coming months, we are hiring key engineers and operators to our engineering hub in Finland, led by our fantastic new VP of Engineering. We’re seeing numbers of high quality professionals from relevant industries wanting to move into hard climate tech and work on a team that is really getting stuff done. Learn more on the Carbo site.

Building a circular economy and clean energy hub in Kerava

Our partner in the project is Kerava Energy, a municipality-owned energy company that’s no stranger to innovative clean energy projects.

“This is the decade to grow carbon removal to a global scale, and bringing this new tech to market will require collaboration across all spheres. We are thrilled to have found fantastic partners in the City of Kerava and Kerava Energy, whose long standing commitment to decarbonisation match our values” says Charlotta Liukas, Head of Operations at Carbo Culture.

“We are always excited to take part in developing new technologies in the energy business. At Kerava Energy, we prefer action instead of ceremonial speeches. Therefore, this project is a perfect addition to our project portfolio. With this project there is also a possibility to get renewable district heating to our network, which will help us decrease the use of primary fuel.” — Heikki Hapuli, Production Director at Kerava Energy

The location is perfect for Carbo Culture — 30 km north of Helsinki with a direct train service and close to the international airport, Kerava is the ideal jumping point to start building our engineering in Finland.

“The city of Kerava is committed to follow its Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP) and be a carbon neutral city by 2035. The project fits well with the city strategy to be a spearhead of new ideas and green prosperity. Carbo Culture is warmly welcome in Kerava”, says Kirsi Rontu, mayor of Kerava.

The project is supported by the European Innovation Council EIC.

Carbo Culture was founded in 2017 on the idea that biochar is a game-changing carbon removal technique. We developed our Carbolysis™ approach, which is optimised to scale carbon removal and generate valuable by-products. The result is a biochar that is high in carbon, permanent, and versatile for many applications. With carbon removal is our main priority, we are developing biochar applications to decarbonise soil amendments and building materials, where the carbon remains sequestered for lifetimes to thousands of years.

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Pia Henrietta K
carboculture

Co-founder & CEO of @carboculture sequestering carbon and putting it to use.