Generating energy from unused/wasted local resources by using an off-grid circular system.
The Craft Energy Project aims to utilize unused/wasted local resources to produce biochar and electricity that can be used in the community with an off-grid system. We started this project at an abandoned school in Tenri, Nara, Japan. The unused/wasted local resources include biomass such as thinned wood, pruned branches of fruit trees and roadside trees, food residues, and agricultural residues. In Tenri, many pruned branches from persimmon trees, a local specialty, are also discarded. In almost all regions of Japan, many of these resources are not reused but are discarded and burned, which causes carbon dioxide emissions.
In our system, resources are carbonized instead of burned to make biochar and energy sources with virtually no carbon dioxide emissions. In addition to the uses for a soil conditioner, biochar can be used as an alternative to fossil fuels because of its high calorie content of approximately 7,000 Kcal, equivalent to that of coal. It also produces less harmful smoke during combustion and can be used as good quality BBQ charcoal.
Furthermore, the equipment is mobile and small enough to be transported by a truck. This “off-grid” system provides a variety of solutions to local problems. For example, the system can also be applied to remote islands that have trouble transporting and disposing of waste. Moreover, in case of disaster, the system can carbonize debris such as collapsed buildings and generate power for emergency use .
We hope that this system will spread throughout Japan and even across the oceans.