Biochar Market Report

Biochar Market Analysis By Technology (Pyrolysis, Gasification, Others), By Application (Agriculture (Farming, Livestock, Others), Others), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2012 - 2025

Published: May 2017  |  160 Pages  |  Format: PDF  |  Report ID: 978-1-68038-681-3

Industry Insights

The global biochar market size was estimated at 283.2 kilo tons in 2015. Globally increasing consumption of organic food and ability of biochar to enhance soil fertility & plant growth is expected to be a key factor driving the market growth. Biochar is an essential soil amendment as it removes all toxic elements and sand pollutants from the soil. It prevents soil leeching, fertilizer runoff and maintains the moisture level of the soil.  It also protects the crops during draughts and floods. Presently, synthetic and other bio-based fertilizers dominate the agricultural sector. But, led by several initiatives the awareness is spreading gradually amongst the farmers to include it into agricultural activities. Thus, creating huge avenues for market growth in coming years.

U.S. biochar market volume by technology, 2012 - 2025 (Kilotons)

U.S. biochar market

North America and Europe have witnessed a significant rise in the number of large and medium scale producers which is expected to play a major role in developing the industry. However, lack of awareness regarding biochar benefits and its long term advantages among the farming community is a major barrier for its growth primarily in Asia Pacific and Middle East. Manufacturing of high quality of product requires high investment and therefore has led to several companies exiting the market place in the last few years.

The global market is comprised of both organized and unorganized producers of biochar. Countries such as China, Brazil, Japan and Mexico have large amount of production from unorganized sector. These are primarily produced by villagers in collaboration with research institutions and groups. The number of organized players are expected to increase over the forecast period owing to rising demand for organic farming and organic food.

Biochar is yet to realize its full potential in the agricultural sector and is expected to be an extremely important factor for the overall development of the food sector. Water treatment is expected to be another important application segment in the near future, especially in emerging economies where there has been a rising demand for water treatment facilities.

Also, the conversion of biogas into biochar using crop residue is expected to provide various economic and environmental benefits over the forecast period. It reutilizes agricultural waste, helps in building a sustainable agricultural model, and reduces air pollution by avoiding the open burning of crop residue.

Raw materials used for biochar production include plant waste, agricultural residue, wood (wood pellets), and animal manure. The suppliers are from the wood and forest-based products sectors. Timber companies such as Weyerhaeuser, Georgia-Pacific, and West Fraser supply wood residue and wood pellets to various manufacturers.

The market is governed by many regulatory authorities including EU commission and the US EPA.It has been included in number of policies and regulations by the European Commission such as EU [SWD (2014)259], which is a basis for waste management, agricultural production, climate change policy, and environment protection. The U.S. EPA has released new rules, which will govern the production and the EU has laid out several policies for production and consumption. Overall, the product is still at an introduction stage, and therefore, there is huge potential for blended products to grow in the near future.

Technology Insights

Pyrolysis technology is expected to witness rapid growth at a CAGR of over 13.6% in terms of revenue from 2016 to 2025 owing to high yield, along with high carbon content and stability. Pyrolysis technology is one of the most efficient and effective ways of producing high-quality product.

Gasification technology has witnessed a rise in demand on account of growing need for electricity in distributed energy systems. It is expected to lose its share over the forecast period as it does not produce stable biochar which can be used in agriculture for soil amendment and soil enhancement purposes.

Other technologies include cooking stove, hydrothermal carbonized, and acid hydrolysis. Financial viability of any project is extremely important for small-time producers in order to expand their business in the future, thus these technologies are suitable for them to achieve economies of scale. Asia Pacific has witnessed a strong growth for these technologies owing to the rise in the number of small producers.

Application Insights

Agriculture was the largest application segment in 2015 and accounted for over 70% of the share, in terms of volume. Biochar enhances soil’s biological productivity, water holding and fertilizer holding capacity, which provides crop nutrition and improves plant growth. Farmers located in the North America and Europe regions in the present times are aware of its various benefits. However, a large part of the farming community still lacks knowledge about its advantages.

General farming is a major segment in agricultural application. Recent trends of including biochar as a soil amendment has augmented the demand of overall market. The application in general farming is expected to rise substantially, on account of increasing awareness by research institutes and groups.

Livestock farming includes cattle farming, meat production, and poultry farming which contribute to a large proportion of the overall consumption in agriculture.High consumption of biochar in livestock farming owing to its ability to provide essential nutrients and maintain the health of livestock will promote industry expansion in the region. Also, growing government support on organic farming will create immense potential over the upcoming years.

Other applications include water treatment and waste treatment facilities. Emerging economies such as China and India have witnessed an increase in demand for water treatment facilities owing to increasing the need for better water infrastructure and growing hygiene awareness.

Organic farming is expanding at an exponential rate owing to rising health consciousness and increasing consumer spending particularly in urban areas. Though, several rural areas still continue to use conventional farming as it yields more produce, the prevalence of organic farming would rise in future. The application of biochar in mixed farming, biodynamic agriculture and zero tillage farming would also witness healthy growth led by rising initiatives by government and private institutions.

Global biochar market volume by agriculture, 2015 (%)

Global  biochar market

Regional Insights

North America was the dominant player in 2015 and accounted for 162.8 kilo tons. It is expected to show significant growth on account of increasing need for organic food and high consumption of meat. In North America biochar awareness is better as compared to other regions. Therefore, as the farming community has more knowledge about its long terms benefits, the demand is expected to witness a significant increase over the forecast period. Low feed costs in the livestock sector are expected to result in expansion.

The U.S. is the largest revenue generating country in the world. There is huge awareness about biochar in the country and there are several small and large producers operating at domestic and international level. Although this industry has witnessed companies exiting in the last couple of years owing to lack of capital, overall growth prospects are positive.

Asia Pacific is expected to witness fastest growth over the forecast period and represents an enormous opportunity for expansion. Emerging economies such as China and India will be extremely essential on account of being large agriculture markets. Several research and development activities conducted in the region will contribute to growth in interest for biochar in the farming community and would result in improved demand.

Recent trends of using genetically modified crops in China have affected the soil health and crop productivity in a negative way and has resulted in having a negative impact on the agricultural fields. This is expected to cause an upswing in overall demand for the purpose of maintaining soil health as soil amendment.

China is the third largest country in organic food production. The incorporation of biochar in organic farming continues to expand led by several research initiatives by China Biochar Network and other universities. They are indulged into studying effects on soil processes and environment. Led by these many initiatives its application is expected to witness augmented demand in farming in China.

Competitive Insights

The key players include Diacarbon Energy, BSEI and Airex Energy Inc. More than 80% manufacturers are concentrated in North America, while Europe and Asia Pacific constitute a comparatively lesser concentration. Aberystwyth University, Federal Rural University of the Amazon, Massey University and University of East Anglia are among few of the research institutions engaged in research and production of biochar.

Timber companies such as Weyerhaeuser, Georgia-Pacific, and West Fraser supply wood residue and wood pellets to various manufacturers. The industry, especially in North America, has numerous small entrepreneurs including Cool Planet Energy Systems Inc., who are completely integrated into the value chain, from production stage to the selling stage. Companies such as 3R ENVIRO TECH Group, Pacific Pyrolysis, Cool Planet Energy Systems Inc., and Phoenix Energy provide pyrolysis technology to produce the product and waste to energy solutions.

Report Scope

Attribute

Details

Base year for estimation

2015

Actual estimates/Historical data

2012 - 2015

Forecast period

2016 - 2025

Market representation                              

Volume in kilotons, revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2016 to 2025

Regional scope

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S., Canada, Germany, Mexico, France, Sweden, Denmark, China, India, Brazil, Japan, Malaysia

Report coverage             

Volume & revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends, list of 200 biochar manufacturers with annual production

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Segments covered in the report

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional & country levels and provides an analysis on the industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2012 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global biochar market on the basis of technology, application and region:

  • Technology Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2012 - 2025)

    • Pyrolysis

    • Gasification

    • Others

  • Application Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2012 - 2025)

    • Agriculture

      • Livestock

      • Farming

      • Others

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2012 - 2025)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • UK

      • France

      • Sweden

      • Denmark

    • Asia Pacific

      • Australia

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

      • Malaysia

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

    • Middle East & Africa

Key questions answered by the report
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