So one of the more pivotal components of our fertilizer is the inclusion of
Don’t know what biochar is? I’ll try to simply explain.
It’s simply the carbon remains of pyrolysis.
Wait, wait, what is pyrolysis?
Ok, so hardwood (scrap planks from saw mills) is heated in an oxygen free environment. That’s right – oxygen free. As we all know, oxygen is responsible for combustion, but in this particular process, there is no oxygen,
and therefor no fire.
So heating the hardwood without catching it on fire (because no oxygen) causes all the “plant material” (hydrogen, oxygen, lignins, carbohydrates) to vaporize (which is captured to use as a synthetic gas for additional engergy). This process is called pyrolysis.
The result of pyrolysis is biochar.
So for the last week or so, we’ve been working on many different things. (Have you seen our website? or Facebook page?
We made a couple of on the fly adjustments of hopper sizes and conveyors. One of which will allow us to alter the percentage of biochar in our final mix. For us, that’s
While creating a kick ass fertilizer is a top priority, the overall objective here is to make sure we are leaving the planet in a better condition than when we found it. Soil first. #Getyourdirtright
Not to get all hippy, but it’s a serious topic – one serious enough that we can’t act like it doesn’t exist.
Manufacturing is environmentally tough. There are lots of rules,
regulations, permits, and zoning that specifically address energy waste and industrial pollution, but we wanted to take it a step further.
The more carbon we can apply to the soil, the more atmospheric CO2 we can eliminate. That, my friends, is leaving the planet in a better condition than we found it. Having the ability to increase our carbon content (and ultimately our soils) means we are meeting one of our objectives.
one day, we will renewably generate all of our power on site that powers our plant. One of our environmental engineers is currently tasked with that portion of the project.
Speaking of staff, let’s take a little time to introduce you to the brains behind the project. Hint, it ain’t me.
Meet Jim Ritter
Jim is our plant manager.
We’re working him to death.
In fact, he’s so busy he couldn’t stop to smile for
He’s actually on the phone with one of our environmental engineers in this photo, ironing out a series of complex math problems. Way above my pay grade, clearly.
Jim is such an asset to this team. He previously managed a manufacturing facility… producing biochar… for the last decade. Previous to that, he worked manufacturing carbon fiber.
Not only does Jim
come from the world where we’re spinning, his days of producing biochar was for a company that specialized in renewable energy.
To come full circle, not only is Jim a capable, experienced manager, he comes from the renewable energy sector with a specialization in the production of biochar.
In his off time, Jim has a barren of mules that he and his wife love to ride. He is also a proud dad of three (grown)
In one of the ultimate moves of dedication to the project, Jim volunteered to make the move to Calhoun, KY to lead our plant.
Jim isn’t only an asset, he’s a hero. The char czar.
I’ll follow up in the next addition with more information about our project, and our most valuable asset: our team.
8/14 – Chicago, IL – Navy Pier – Matt Martin will be visiting and wants to meet up with YOU!
8/16 – Calhoun, KY – Zoning and Commission
8/17 – Calhoun, KY – Pre-construction Site Work Complete
10/10 – Valpraiso, IN – PermaGreen, Inc Site Tour PLUS Matt Martin Meetup!
10/17 – Louisville, KY – THE GIE!