Charm Industrial has been sequestering carbon since 2020. The company estimates it removes 0.85 tons of carbon dioxide for every ton of biomass. Charm announced its pyrolysis process safely locked up nearly 5,500 tons of CO2 in late 2021.
Charm pays corn farmers for unwanted plant matter such as corn stalks, breaking it down into biochar and bio-oil. It reburies biochar to improve soil health and pumps bio-oil down EPA-regulated deep wells. Although companies like Microsoft pay Charm $600 per ton of buried carbon, it’s unclear whether the process will ultimately be the best use of potential renewable energy. Buying up large amounts of corn biomass might force cattle farmers to switch to alternative low-cost feeds, while a hot market could incite farmers to expand their operations.
CEO Peter Reinhardt stressed Charm only takes half the agricultural material on any given field, and that while competing uses of leftover corn is region dependent, farmers often burn it or let it rot and produce CO2.