BC4I – Biochar for industry

The metallurgical industry is responsible for a significant share of global CO₂ emissions, which is why appropriate mitigation strategies are urgently needed. One option is the substitution of fossil carbon with biochar. In the project BC4I research is being conducted to replace fossil carbon in the metallurgical industry with CO₂-neutral, high-quality biochar and to couple decentralised biochar production with highly efficient generation of green electricity and heat from the pyrolysis gases produced.

For the production of biochar an existing biomass pyrolysis concept is adapted in terms of process settings and control that meets the requirements of the metallurgical industry regarding chemical and physical properties. By developing a new process, the project promises to generate green electricity and heat from low-cost biomass at an unprecedentedly high energy conversion efficiency of >90% (related to the calorific value of the feedstock). The planned research activities are on system and component simulations with CFD models using newly developed innovative modelling tools, experimental work on prototypes, laboratory experiments with the biochar produced and associated techno-economic process evaluations. The project is supported by an industrial board that takes into account all relevant technical, economic and strategic framework conditions.

„To achieve national and international CO₂ reduction targets, a significant reduction of CO₂ emissions from the metallurgical industry is required. Especially in processes where carbon is an essential factor as a reducing agent or alloying element, there we recognize a great potential for the use of biochar.“

Ingwald Obernberger
Project manager BC4I,
Managing director of the engineering company BIOS BIOENERGIESYSTEME GmbH

Overview of Targets

  • Development of a biochar production process
  • As value-added products of the process, green electricity and heat should reduce CO₂ emissions from the energy sector
  • CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulation-based optimization of the pyrolysis process and development of the pyrolysis gas processing for heat and power generation
  • Implementation, evaluation and assessment of test runs on a test facility
  • Development of application concepts in the metallurgical industry


  1. Organisation of consortium meetings twice a year
  2. Installation of the prototype accomplished
  3. Test runs are finalised and results available
  4. Biochar is characterized, and biochar-applications are validated
  5. Use case studies completed
  6. Dissemination activities completed

NEFI Power Women for the Decarbonisation of Industry

08. March 2022

Despite numerous efforts to promote and address the issue, the proportion of women in technical professions remains low. During the week of the International Women’s Day, the NEFI Innovation Network will highlight successful female technicians. They are NEFI project managers or are pushing the decarbonisation of industry with their know-how and expertise.

More information
Project manager
Ingwald Obernberger
Erwin Reisenhofer
Key facts
Running time:
01/21 – 3/24
Project volume:
€ 1.647.096
Project overview