How We Do It
The Renewable Carbon Materials can be used as a soil amendment, a water filtration material, and as a renewable energy source. The liquid byproduct can either be used directly as a liquid fertilizer or the phosphorus and nitrogen can be extracted providing clean water and nutrients for agricultural activities. These products will provide significant resilience to otherwise threatened agriculture activities and freshwater resources. These innovative bioproducts increase soil porosity, reduce erosion and runoff, and provide sustainable sources of nutrients for crop growth.
The "Carbon Reduction Platform" process in its simplest form is the dehydration of carbohydrates in water under mild temperatures and pressures. The process used mimics natural geological processes which occur over hundreds of millions of years and result in the formation of fossil fuels (Coal, Oil, Natural Gas). The CRP process however, accomplishes the same “coal” formation in minutes to hours depending on the raw material introduced. The raw materials for the CRP process is wet biomass. This generic term wet biomass refers to biological material and that has greater than 20% moisture content.
Before entering the CRP process, the raw material is chopped into small pieces and mixed with water to an appropriate dilution so that it can be pumped into the reactor. The easiest way to think of the reactor is an industrial sized “pressure cooker.” The raw material is processed in the reactor at a temperature of 200 degrees Celsius, or 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The process uses a temperature similar to that used in a pizza oven.
Since the water is under pressure it reaches a subcritical state, meaning that it will not turn into a gas (steam). The subcritical water partially breaks down the cell walls of the biomass allowing the pressure and heat to break apart the chemical bonds of the biomass and convert the carbon containing molecules into a pure carbon char-like material. This reaction is completed in as few as 15 minutes (human waste) or as many as 10 hours (forestry waste) depending on the cellular structure of biomass.
After the reaction occurs, the biomass-water mixture exits the reactor, where the carbon is filtered out of the water and dried. Once dried, the carbon can be mechanically pressed into pellets or briquets to be used for energy generation. The remaining water is rich in nutrients and can be used as a liquid fertilizer without any further processing before sale and application.
Solid carbon material that has many uses, one of which is being used to generate heat and electricity in Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Systems. Our product has a gross energy content (23.8Mj/kg), which is slightly higher than the gross energy content of lignite coal or brown coal (16.53MJ/kg). Lignite coal is the primary fuel for coal fired power plants in the United States. In 2015, the U.S. produced 33% of its electricity from coal generating 1.32 Trillion British thermal units (Btu). This magnitude of coal power generation represents a tremendous opportunity for Somax to replace the roughly 1 billion tons of coal used in the U.S. with a renewable coal replacement; Reducing CO2 emissions and our dependence on fossil fuels simultaneously.
Renewable Solid Fuel
The Carbon Reduction Platform does not consume water. Instead, it produces water via dehydration. Water is produced from the moisture content of the original biomass feedstock. In keeping with circular economic principles, where “waste” does not exist, we investigated this aqueous byproduct and discovered that it contains significant quantities of beneficial compounds containing nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK), which are valuable fertilizers. Lab analysis of the aqueous samples show NPK concentrations similar to current commercially available liquid fertilizers. The liquid fertilizer will be sold in bulk to local landscapers, horticulturalists, golf courses, and farmers utilizing existing relationships. We will also sell the liquid fertilizer to the public in concentrated 1 gallon bottles through local and national retail outlets.
The Carbon Reduction Platform provides a renewable solid fuel that can be upgraded to form Activated Carbon. Activated Carbon and Charcoal are currently used in almost every industry on earth. Our products remove pollutants, contaminants and other impurities from water, air, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals and more.