There are some amazing people in NZ. Just when I’m tearing (what’s left of) my hair out at the idiocy of some politicians, along comes a news story to gladden the heart of anyone living in the real world. Yesterday, Blenheim-based start-up Carbonscape reported that it has just begun batch production of charcoal in a microwave oven the size of a double garage. Wood waste goes in at one end, the oven heats it up and it turns into charcoal – giving off syngas, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. The charcoal can be added to soil (as biochar, aka terra preta), fixing the carbon away from the atmosphere and improving soil fertility, while the syngas can be burned to create energy to drive the process – known as pyrolysis.
Carbonscape call their oven the Black Phantom, Stuff reports: