Mantria opens biochar plant in Tennessee

By Anna Austin
Mantria Industries LLC has officially opened an industrial-scale biochar production facility in Dunlap, Tenn., after weeks of testing and a smooth first burning."

The company has worked the past eight months to develop biorefineries that transform biomass waste into biochar through a pressurized partially pyrolytic gasification system.

A standard process system consists of two 3.5-ton autoclave (reactor) units, which are pressurized and sealed once the biomass is loaded into canisters and placed inside. Electric heaters are turned on to ignite the feedstock then turned off, and the autoclave temperature is controlled by a dual-draft process. Under elevated pressure and heat, the feedstock will begin to carbonize at specific temperatures, ranging from 400 to 800 degrees Celsius (750 to 1,470 degrees Fahrenheit). During carbonization, gases from the process are pumped through catalysts, broken down into simpler compounds and sent through filters to be scrubbed. When the 25- to-40-minute process is complete, the biochar is set in a cooling pool for 24 hours.

The EternaGreen Center will produce approximately 32,000 tons of biochar per year, or 8,000 pounds per hour, mainly from forest waste, slash and residuals. The company believes the new plant is the largest biochar production facility in the world.

Mantria also recently opened a Biochar distribution facility in Fulton County, Georgia.

A feature article on the benefits of biochar will appear in the October issue of Biomass Magazine, which will include Mantria's biochar activities.

-Anna Austin