• Technoeconomic Analysis (TEA)
    for Biochar Projects
    At Celignis Biomass Lab

The Importance of Technoeconomic Analyses of Biochar Projects

For the successful commercialisation of a developed technology, lab-scale data provide a valuable starting point along the technology readiness level (TRL) spectrum. At Celignis, we conduct technical modelling and engineering design of pilot and industrial scale processes using experimental data supplemented with data from other reliable sources and standards.

The rigorous simulation provides reliable mass and energy balance data which constitutes the foundation for equipment design, sizing and specification and utility demand estimations.

The facility design information enables the estimation of the capital (CAPEX) and operating (OPEX) expenditures of the proposed production system using reliable costing models. This is followed by a thorough evaluation of the economic performance of the process. All the technical and economic hotspots in the process flow and value chain are identified and modulated to improve the robustness of the production system.

A thorough techno-economic evaluation (TEA) provides more clarity which guides decision making especially in the case of a significant financial commitment like the establishment of a commercial biochar production facility.

Considering the low TRL of many emerging and developed bioprocess technologies, TEA stands as a valuable tool to investigate the promising potentials of these technologies in a more detailed design on a large scale before any major financial commitment is made. Our team of TEA experts are well equipped to evaluate the scale up and economic potential of various feedstock conversion technologies and product systems to provide clients and stakeholders with the vital data necessary to inform their decision making and resource allocation in respect of a technology or product of interest.

Our Technoeconomic Analysis Experts

Oscar has conducted several economic evaluations on several bioprocess technologies and product systems. During his PhD, he conducted comparative techno-economic studies on the biorefinery scenarios for production of prebiotics, biofuels and bioproducts. He has also worked with industrial partners to estimate the capital investment requirement and also assess the economic feasibility of biobased products from seaweed at a pilot scale.

Oscar has also good experience in the development of advanced and detailed conceptual process flow diagrams from the lab-scale process, highlighting scale up challenges and the process and engineering requirements for very unit operation in the process flow. With his proficient understanding of biological, chemical and physical systems, he has developed process simulations for several biorefinery scenarios using the appropriate modelling software. These simulations closely mimic the real life manifestation of the industrial process which is beneficial for R and D, mass and energy balance, equipment design and operation of the process or industrial plant. The simulation development significantly cuts down on unnecessary laboratory experiments, pilot scale runs and facilitates design by a convenient comparison of various process alternatives.

Oscar is currently leading the TEA tasks of the multinational EnXylaScope project and has also undertaken TEA projects for a number of Celignis's clients, ranging from SMEs to large multinational organisations.

A serial innovator with extensive knowledge and experience in enzymes, microbes, and fermentation. Lalitha has a PhD in life sciences (Bioprocessing and Biotechnology) from Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), India (2015). In her PhD she discovered a novel natural butanol fermenter that does not form acetone and received a business plan award from CSIR, India (2011.) She also developed strategies to co-produce solvents and organic acids and was a visiting researcher in the University of Naples for three months under a Marie-Curie fellowship grant.

How we Can Help with TEA of Your Biochar Projects

Our techno-economic experts can work with you to evaluate the economic prospects of your technology or feedstock using the bench scale data. We apply accurate and realistic costing models to determine the CAPEX and OPEX of simulated and pilot scale processes which are then used to determine key economic indicators such as IRR, NPV and payback periods.
We provide comprehensive, objective and transparent results to help you obtain a good understanding of your process and its value chain as well as inform your budget and investment resource allocation. Our sensitivity analysis exposes the hotspots in the process flow as well as the main influencing parameters.

Additional Information on TEA of Biochar Projects

Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions about our TEA services for biochar projects. Relevant members of the Celignis biochar team will be happy to assist. Those team members with the most experience in technoeconomic analyses are listed below.

Dan Hayes

Celignis CEO And Founder

PhD (Analytical Chemistry)

Dreamer and achiever. Took Celignis from a concept in a research project to being the bioeconomy's premier provider of analytical and bioprocessing expertise.

Oscar Bedzo

Technoeconomic Analysis Lead


A dynamic, purpose-driven chemical engineer with expertise in bioprocess development, process design, simulation and techno-economic analysis over several years in the bioeconomy sector.

Lalitha Gottumukkala

Chief Innovation Officer


A serial innovator managing multiple projects. Has particular expertise related to the upgrading of biochar and on the assessment of its impact on plant productivity and soil health.

Other Celignis Tests and Services for Biochar

Global Recognition as Biomass and Biochar Experts

Celignis provides valued services to over 1000 clients. We understand how the focus of biochar projects can differ between countries and have advised a global network of clients. We also have customs-exemptions for samples sent to us allowing us to quickly get to work no matter where our clients are based.

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Feedstock Evaluation

Our analysis packages can screen biochar feedstocks. We can estimate biochar yield and quality using feedstock chemical composition and can estimate biochar composition using the ultimate and major/minor elements analyses of the feedstock. With TGA analysis we can also monitor feedstock behaviour under pyrolysis conditions.

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Biochar Production

We can produce biochar samples from your feedstocks using a wide range of temperatures, heating rates, and residence times. We can formulate a Design of Experiments (DoE) to study the effects of varying process parameters on biochar yield and quality and can optimise these outputs according to your desired biochar market applications.

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Biochar Analysis

We have an extensive array of analysis packages to evaluate the suitability of biochar for a range of applications. These analyses cover properties relevant to combustion, soil amendment, feed, and biomaterials. Our reports compare the results against internationally-recognised limits for using the biochar in specific end-products.

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Biochar Combustion Properties

Biochar can be a superior fuel versus virgin biomass due to its greater carbon content and energy density. We offer a wide array of analysis packages to fully evaluate biochar as a fuel. For example, we can determine both organic and inorganic carbon and can monitor the behaviour of the biochar ash over wide temperature ranges.

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Soil Amendment & Plant Growth Trials

We can test biochar for several properties (e.g. water holding capacity, electrical conductivity etc.) relevant to its use in soil amendment. We can also grow plants in biochar-amended soils and assess the impacts of this approach on germination, plant growth, plant health, and soil biology.

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Analysis of PAHs in Biochar

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons can be formed during the pyrolysis of biomass and accumulate in biochar, leading to potential risks to the environment. We can accurately quantify a range of different PAHs and determine if their concentrations exceed regulatory limits. We can also develop strategies to reduce the amount of PAHs in biochar.

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Surface Area and Porosity of Biochar

The suitable markets for a biochar are often greatly dependent on its surface area and pore size-distrubtion. We provide detailed reports on biochar surface area and porosity and can provide guidance on the implications of the results. We can also work on strategies to increase the surface area and modify the pore-size distribution of biochar.

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Thermogravimetric Analysis of Biochar

TGA is a powerful analytical technique for the study of biochars because it allows us to examine the thermal stability of the material as a function of temperature. The thermal stability of biochars is an important factor to consider when evaluating their potential use as a soil amendment or for carbon sequestration.

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Biochar Upgrading

There are several different methods (covering physical, chemical and biologial routes) by which we can upgrade your biochar in order to increase its value and make it more suitable for the desired market applications. We are able to fully characterise the changes in physicochemical properties associated with upgrading.

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Biochar for Carbon Sequestration

Biochar's efficacy as a means for sequestering carbon depends on a range of factors (e.g. feedstock and pyrolysis conditions). We can undertake a range of analytical tests to help you determine the stability of your biochar's carbon. We can also suggest alternative approaches to improve carbon sequestration potential.

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Research Project Collaborations

Celignis is active in a number of important research projects focused on biomass valorisation. Biochar is a key component in some of these ongoing projects as well as in several prior projects. We are open to participating in future collaborative research projects where our extensive infrastructure and expertise in biochar can be leveraged.

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