BC Biocarbon produces wood vinegar as part of their manufacturing process to make biochar from wood waste. Like biochar, wood vinegar can be used in agriculture and gardening as a soil amendment to enhance plant growth. It also has value as a natural herbicide and pesticide; as a food product to add a smoky flavour; and as an insect repellent.
BC Biocarbon asked Carbon Management Canada (CMC) to investigate the national and international market opportunities for wood vinegar. In order to make recommendations, CMC had to understand the use of wood vinegar, the global producers and suppliers, Canadian regulations and market opportunities.
“There isn’t a Canadian industrial outlet for wood vinegar. We’re trying to figure out where the market is. The main thing is to determine what the lay of the land is in relation to going forward,” says Phil Marsh, BC Biocarbon’s Chief Technology Officer. “What we gained from CMC was an overview of the Canadian regulatory system and where our chances lie in the near term. This was extremely helpful for us.”
CMC identified supplier opportunities for BC Biocarbon and transportation providers to ship wood vinegar to international markets.
“What CMC has done for us is very valuable, and it may not get us to where we need to be tomorrow, but what this market analysis has allowed us to do is follow-through in the decision-making process,” says Phil.
After discovering that the international export of wood vinegar is a viable option, CMC connected BC Biocarbon with a company interested in purchasing the product.
As countries around the world move toward developing environmentally sustainable economies, markets are opening for low-carbon products and technologies that reduce industrial emissions. With a wide range of test facilities, an educated workforce, and supportive government policies in place, Canada is well placed to produce goods and services to supply those growing markets.
As the partnership between CMC and BC Biocarbon demonstrates, when companies and innovators collaborate on solutions to challenges, markets can be discovered and technology development can be accelerated.
“There is an uptick in demand globally and this market study helped show that there has been a lot of growth in this area. Many companies are looking for an organic solution for plant growth, fertilizers, pesticide and herbicide solutions,” says Phil Marsh, BC Biocarbon’s Chief Technology officer.