10. March 2022
Henriette zu Doha
Biochar | Bioenergy | Biomass | CDR | EBC | net-zero | Uncategorized

Flagship project: Climate-neutral district heating in Basel

Swiss energy service provider IWB produces rege­ne­ra­tive heat and CO2-absor­bing biochar from green waste.

The Basel based IWB has realized the first climate-neutral district heating project in Switz­er­land. Using our newly deve­loped PX1500, IWB is now feeding an annual heating capa­city of around 1.5 giga­watt hours into the district heating network. That covers the energy needs of about 170 Basel house­holds. IWB uses only regional, untreated biomass such as wood and green waste from a maximum radius of 40 kilo­me­ters. In the PYREG plant, this high-quality biomass is carbo­nized into biochar at 500 to 700 degrees Celsius in the absence of oxygen. In this biochar, CO2 is safely bound. Subse­quently dispersed into the earth it ends up in a perma­nent carbon sink.

IWB sells premium biochar and closes the loop

Through the advanced tempe­ra­ture-controlled Pyreg carbo­niz­a­tion, IWB produces a premium biochar certi­fied as the inter­na­tio­nally accepted “EBC-AgroBio“. That biochar complies with the requi­re­ments for EU-wide use as a soil condi­tioner – even in organic farming. IWB sells the biochar – ca. 550 metric tons per year – to both, agri­cul­tural enter­prises, and private custo­mers. By doing so, IWB is also setting new stan­dards for circular economy in the muni­cipal sector.

A flagship project

“IWB is a pioneer in climate protec­tion and living proof of the enor­mous climate protec­tion value that lies in CO2-nega­tive district heating,” says Helmut Gerber, CTO and founder of PYREG GmbH, adding, “We are convinced that flagship projects like this one in Switz­er­land will follow world­wide. They are important as we have no more time to lose on the way to achie­ving the Paris climate protec­tion goals.”
“With this, our first biochar plant IWB empha­sizes our leading role as a service provider for rene­wable energy. Decar­bo­ni­zing the heat supply is one of our most important tasks, and not just in Basel. We carry this mission throughout Switz­er­land. The plant is a show­case project in terms of decar­bo­niz­a­tion and energy effi­ci­ency. Also, our custo­mers gain from the ecolo­gical bene­fits of the biochar,” says Dr. Arthur Janssen, Head of Stra­tegy & Inno­va­tion at IWB.

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  1. PYREG wins the prestigious Watt d'Or award from the Swiss Federal Office of Energy. - PYREG GmbH - […] an inte­grated hot-water circuit, a concept that has already been adopted on a larger scale by the Basel IWB…

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