RenCARBio Project Turns Wastes into Biochar as Soil Improver

RenCARBio Project Turns Wastes into Biochar as Soil Improver

WAI Environmental Solutions AS participates the research project (RenCARBio), a 4-year project led by Aquateam COWI. The project has been granted 9 MNOK from the Research Council, and is collaborated with NMBU, NORSUS, IVAR IKS, Bergen Kommune, ARIM, Kalnes Jordbruksskole, Norsk Biokullnettverk, and WAI.

RenCARBio project (“Biochar as a quality recycling product from organic waste fractions”) was launched, and the kick-off meeting was held in November 2021 at Aquateam COWI’s office in Oslo. The project is part of the Research Council’s CIRCULAR ECONOMICS program. WAI participates as the technology partner with pyrolysis equipment and expertise. The project will test different wastes, such as sewage sludge, manure, and food waste for the biochar production. The research team will conduct biogas production in Aquateam’s laboratory with two reactors and test pyrolysis with pilot equipment from WAI. The produced biochar will be examined for improvement of soil properties and nutrient recovery (i.e. phosphorus) for plant growth by NMBU Faculty of Environmental Science and Nature Management. A life cycle assessment will be conducted to evaluate the overall environmental impacts of the process by NORSUS. The project is followed up by a reference group composed of the Norwegian Biochar Network and Biogas Oslofjord, two of the most important network organizations in the bioeconomy in Norway.

AQUATEAM COWI AS is a research institute within the water and environmental sectors. It has more than 30 years of experience in the domain of water & wastewater treatment, as well as management and treatment of sludge, sediment and soil. Preparation of the ReCARBio project application was supported by the COWI Foundation. The Ministry of Agriculture and Food has announced updates to the regulations of biofertilizer products from secondary sources, and biochar is included. The institute is interested in reuse of wastes from sewage and waste treatment actors and the agricultural sector. Visit  

WAI Environmental Solutions AS is a technology company with headquarter in Tønsberg (01.01.2022). Founded in 2017, WAI is developing environmental solutions for closing the circular economy gaps. WAI owns a screw-type continuous pyrolysis pilot unit (20 kg/h capacity) and has previously conducted R&D projects on various wastes, such as sewage sludge, digestate, food waste reject, garden waste, peat, impregnated wood, chemical sludge and more, for biochar production. Biochar is recognized as a negative emission technology and has wide application in industries and agriculture. Visit

Title Photo Credit: COWI