The X-Prize offered up by Elon Musk is $100M of prizes offered to any company, individual, organization or group of people who can come up with an efficient and scalable solution to carbon sequestration. It is a global competition by which Elon himself has said should help spark advancements in multiple industries to help make more businesses conscious of their carbon footprint and the impact they have on our environment. Tate Dooley of Key To Life has not only accepted the challenge, but believes he and his team have come up with a multi-pronged approach that could solve this problem and help restore the soils that we have destroyed with generations of monoculture farming and traditional agriculture.
The first and most important cog in the wheel is the efficient creation of a product called biochar. Biochar is a pyrolyzed product made from high tensile strength plant material. Things like hemp fiber, invasive species of trees, building material waste and other “dense” plant material are the starter for this process. In Colorado, the invasive beetle-kill pine species of trees that has swept the Rocky Mountains would make a perfect starter material for large scale biochar production. That material is then pyrolyzed by firing it in a kiln that is under vacuum. This process creates a material that has as much biological surface area in a teaspoon of it as an entire football field. Because it is created under a vacuum, there is no waste associated with it either. The gasses produced can easily be captured and utilized for other purposes. This pyrolyzed material is basically pure, structured carbon. This is not ash, which has no structure, it is biochar.
Biochar can help harbor things like beneficial microorganisms and microbes in the soil which are the building blocks of a healthy living system. It can also hold onto nutrients, organic acids, biological stimulants, and most importantly, water! This means that these products can be stored in the soil until plants need them. Supporting a healthy living soil system is the only way to help restore the damage that we have done to “farmable” land over the past 90+ years. If you examine a healthy soil, it contains these microorganisms and microbes as well as many times the amount of CO2 as dead or nonliving soils, which contain almost no CO2. The implementation of biochar helps directly sequester Carbon in the form of CO2 because the living soil holds onto it. A healthy living soil contains around 10% biochar per cubic meter.
This biochar can be used for multiple other applications as well. Any form of filtration can utilize biochar. Air filtration for car mufflers and roadside filters can use biochar. Water treatment and filtration facilities can use it to minimize the introduction of harmful substances into city and rural water supplies. Biochar can even be used to help filter microplastics out of the oceans! As already stated in this article, the first step is creating a supply of biochar efficiently, using a clean fuel source and the highest grade materials and designs. We could possibly use Elon’s rocket technology to help fire the kiln and utilize recycled methane from the pyrolysis process as a fuel source when mixed with pure oxygen. Key To Life will be a leader in this space. Will you join the cause?
SOURCE Key To Life