Press Release

FENIX Project’s Third General Assembly Advances Biochar Technology

TerraWatt Hosts Milestone Meeting in Vierzon to Set Course for Sustainable Soil Solutions

Vierzon, France – May 28th, 2024 – Led by Universidad de Granada and funded by the Horizon Europe programme, the FENIX project convened its third General Assembly in Vierzon, France. Hosted by TerraWatt on May 28 and 29, this meeting focused on reviewing the progress and planning forthcoming activities aimed at advancing biochar technology to enhance soil health across Europe.

The project utilizes pyrolysis technology to convert bio-waste into biochar, which is then integrated with digestates from Anaerobic Digestion. This initiative addresses key European challenges, demonstrating substantial benefits for soil quality and playing a crucial role in sustainable waste management and climate change mitigation.

Assembly highlights

The assembly spanned technical reviews and strategic planning. On the first day, detailed evaluations were conducted on optimizing biochar production processes, enhancing its effectiveness in anaerobic digestion, and preparing for pilot-scale production. Key discussions included selecting the most promising four out of 18 biochar samples for further development.

The second day broadened the scope to environmental impacts and market readiness, intellectual property, and ethical challenges. Presentations on the soil health across sites in Spain, France, and Greece highlighted significant soil degradation, underscoring the urgent need for effective soil recovery measures. The assembly wrapped up with comprehensive reviews and planning sessions aimed at refining project deliverables and milestones.

Consortium partners had the opportunity to visit the TerraWatt Marmagne site, where they experienced the pyrolyzer technology first-hand. The visit allowed the attendees to directly observe the technology and understand its key elements of this complex technology that is key for effective biochar production.

Future directions

Looking ahead, the FENIX project will continue to advance its mission by focusing on scaling up production processes, refining biochar formulations, and conducting extensive field trials. These efforts aim to validate the soil enhancers’ effectiveness across diverse agricultural settings.

The consortium comprises leading research institutions and industrial partners such as Universidad de Granada, TerraWatt, Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement, Danmarks Tekniske Universitet, Institut National de Recherche pour l‘Agriculture, l'Alimentation et l'Environnement and INRAE Transfert, Ellinikos Georgikos Organismos - Dimitra, Eurofins Agroscience Services Regulatory France, and Inveniam Group. The partners remain committed to driving forward these innovative solutions that support the EU’s environmental and agricultural sustainability goals and, more specifically, the EU Soil Mission.

By: M. Romero
Editorial: L. Salinas
May 2024

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