In an era where every carbon dioxide (CO2) molecule counts, Confluence Energy (CE) is making an impact in reducing our carbon footprint. By producing the biochar product TrueChar™ and deriving approximately 50% of our energy from renewable, biomass sources, we’re reducing our carbon footprint by at least 25% and continuing to fight the effects of climate change.
A carbon footprint, at its most basic level, is defined as the total amount of greenhouse gases or carbon dioxide emissions produced to directly and indirectly support human activities. Natural sources include things like plant/material decomposition, ocean release and respiration. Human sources come from activities like the production of materials and burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas.
How did we do this? One way was our development and production of TrueChar, a biochar product. To understand, it’s important to look at the natural way CO2 is released into the atmosphere. Mother Nature, through photosynthesis, sequesters or stores carbon in biomass, like trees. When those trees burn or decompose, that carbon is released back into the atmosphere. At Confluence Energy, we use a process to “fix” or permanently sequester some of that carbon in a solid form so it doesn’t get released back into the atmosphere. That product, called TrueChar™, looks a lot like charcoal and acts like activated carbon. It has an extremely high surface area and is a high value filter medium for improving soils, filtering water, erosion control, odor control, air filtration and more. It does this without releasing the additional CO2 content it would have done if it were all burned or decomposed naturally. In other words, even with the required energy to transform this material into a biochar product, the end result saves 25 % more CO2 from escaping into the atmosphere.
Uniquely, another way we help in the fight against climate change is to use our own production process for good. Since we began operations, we’ve maintained a commitment to provide at least half of our energy usage from our production processes through thermal energy utilization within the plants. That eliminates the requirement for additional fossil fuels to provide energy for the manufacturing process.
Also, in using biomass and biochar in the product mix we offer at an affordable price point, we hope that we are helping our customers and clients to choose high performance products that are better for the environment. We believe we are driving the ecology of our economy.