Versatile char – local production as part of the green transition (Era of biochar)

Era of biochar -project seeks alternatives to overcome the local challenges caused by decreasing the energy use of peat. The aim of the project is to find new information on the raw materials, production methods and utilisation of carbon products.


Project information

Project duration


Funded by

European Structural Funds - Just Transition Fund (JTF)

Funding amount

2 521 124 EUR

Project coordinator

University of Oulu

Contact information

Project leader

  • Senior Research Fellow
    Satu Ojala

Contact person

Project description

The project aims at finding versatile new sources of livelihood and simultaneously foster achievement of emission reductions by introducing carbon sinks. The Era of biochar – project covers the whole biochar value chain from raw materials and their cultivation to the different uses of products. In the case of raw materials, the potential of old peat production fields in cultivation of sustainable raw materials and use of alternative and economic raw materials for biochar production are discovered. The project focuses on pyrolysis and hydrothermal carbonization for char production especially from sustainability point of view. For example, environmental and economic impacts are improved by increasing energy efficiency of pyrolysis process with the help of a digital twin and by seeking alternatives for utilization of the bio/hydrochar process by-products. The sustainability of the production and the products will be systematically evaluated during the project. Business opportunities related to production and products will be evaluated also from an international perspective. The Era of Biochar will consider especially soil amendments, fertilizers, metallurgical applications, water purification and plant health improvement applications as the uses of the char products. The long-term impacts of biochar use related to the carbon binding capacity of soil after biochar addition is systematically followed to be able to proof the formation of carbon sinks and to develop reliable model for forecasting the soil carbon binding capacity.

Research partners: Oulu University of Applied Sciences (Oamk), Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), University of Vaasa, Utajärvi, The Association for Rural Culture and Education

Partners: Outokumpu Oyj, Kiertokaari Oy, Ab Stormossen Oy, Oulun vesi, Carbon Balance Finland Oy, Feasib Oy, AGRI Biotech, Österbottens Svenska Producentförbund r.f. (ÖSP)