Opportunities for biochar applications in Finland

Opportunities for biochar applications in Finland

  • October 26, 2018
  • By Esko Salo, Doctoral Student, University of Jyväskylä
  • In: Biochar, Insight

Biochar has already been researched in Finland for around a decade, but only recently its economic potential was discovered.

A wide range of biochar applications
The table below summarises the potential biochar application areas in Finland. Application areas are listed in the first column. The second column describes the current challenges without the application of biochar. The third column presents the benefits and opportunities of utilising biochar. Only those biochar applications which are relevant in the current market situation are presented in the table.

Finnish cities and municipalities as forerunners

The number and scale of different biochar related projects are continuously increasing. A dozen or so municipalities and cities across Finland are currently involved with biochar related projects. There is especially high interest in biochar-based solutions for stormwater and runoff management. Other areas of interest for biochar related research and projects are animal agriculture, soil and gardening, cultivation and urban areas. It is estimated that biochar will achieve a strong position in the gardening and green building sectors, in particular in composting, green roofs, seedbeds, greenhouses, seedbeds, filtering and managing stormwater and urban runoff.

Tenfold lift

Biochar market has just recently started to emerge in Finland. Last year was the first when considerable quantities of biochar were sold and utilised in Finland. During 2018 companies have made significant investments to biochar production and the annual production capacity is estimated to increase by at least 10 000 thousand kilograms. Further investments to increase production capacity is planned for 2019. It is estimated that the market of biochar in Finland will increase tenfold by 2022.

Despite the significant increase in the production, biochar demand in Finland is just awakening. Investments for biochar production capacity are driven as a result of the high biochar demand from abroad, which provides significant export opportunities for Finnish biochar companies.