GreenBiz

OBRIST C–Transformer is raising hope for carbon storage

This article is sponsored by OBRIST Engineering.

Stop global warming and reverse climate change — that is the stated goal of political engagements such as the Paris Agreement. Alternative energy sourcing and stricter emission standards are only the first steps in addressing humankind’s biggest problem.

In addition to those measures, carbon dioxide (CO2) needs to be actively removed from the atmosphere. OBRIST Transformer could develop a future-oriented approach. In order to enhance carbon storage, which will lead to the restoration of ecological balance, the company has started a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.

Humankind is facing an immense challenge

In the upcoming years, CO2 emissions must be reduced drastically in order to limit global warming. Technically, it is already possible to extract the greenhouse gas CO2 from the air. Mother Nature does this via growth of trees and forests. Carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and biomass accumulates. Oxygen is released as a byproduct of this process.

This is where the OBRIST C-Transformer comes in.

"We want to enhance this natural process in order to regain ecological balance," said Frank Obrist of OBRIST Transformer. From his viewpoint, the forests will be our rescue.

Inspired by nature

During the development of the OBRIST C-Transformer concept, Obrist and his team saw nature as a role model. The result is a self–sufficient machine that combines different kinds of technologies.

Pyrolysis will turn old trees into biochar to be reintroduced into the forest soil. Tree seeds then will be worked into the biochar enriched soil, which in turn will ensure the growth of new forests. Biochar application to agricultural soils is emerging as a new management strategy for its potential role in carbon sequestration, soil quality improvements and plant growth promotion.

Compelling advantages

The OBRIST approach has numerous advantages over other carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies. Expensive and dangerous storage of CO2 does not apply because carbon in its most stable form can be stored directly in the ground. The technologies required for this are already existing and established so the OBRIST C-Transformer can build upon a proven scientific base.

The OBRIST C-Transformer also will score through its efficiency. It could bind up to 600 metric tons of carbon (the equivalent of over 2100 metric tons of CO2) daily. This would make the OBRIST C-Transformer the first large-scale, sub-zero-CO2 technology not only to address current emission levels, but also to counteract previous emission excesses.

To compensate for current annual transportation emissions, the OBRIST C-Transformer would need to annually work an area as big as the state of Wisconsin.

The concept is supported by scientific proof. Professors Robert Schlögl of the Fritz Haber Institute of Max Planck Society Berlin and Pierre Ibisch of the Institute of Sustainable Development Eberswalde are part of the development team.

"Ecological balance is out of control," said Ibisch. "It is crucial for us to not only protect forest resources but also to re-establish their air cleansing capacity."

The greatest crowdfunding endeavor ever?

Climate change is a worldwide challenge. That is why OBRIST Transformer calls for worldwide support for the OBRIST C- Transformer by using crowdfunding on Indiegogo.com.

Starting with a little as $1, it is possible to become part of possibly the greatest crowdfunding endeavor ever. Assuming the reach of financial goals, the first OBRIST C-Transformer is scheduled to start its work in 2025.