Innovation That Matters

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Sustainable shipping fuel made from farm waste

Mobility & Transport

This company uses pyrolysis to turn waste nut shells into fuel and other products

Spotted: Shipping uses more than 300 million tonnes of fossil fuel every year, accounting for three per cent of annual greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, shipping also facilitates over 80 per cent of global trade, meaning that reducing shipping isn’t really an option. Instead, making shipping more sustainable is going to require less polluting fuel.

This is where Indo-Danish company MASH Makes hopes to make an impact. The company has developed a waste-based biofuel to use as a ‘drop-in’ replacement for fossil fuels in hard-to-abate industries.

The biofuel is produced from agricultural industry by-products like cashew nut shells, using a proprietary thermochemical process. According to the company, the largely automated process also produces biochar as a byproduct, which can then be used by farmers to sequester carbon, enrich soil, and prevent soil erosion.

The company claims that use of the biofuel produced using the technology could avoid 90 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions and the fuel is currently being trialled in collaboration with global shipping company NORDEN. MASH Makes’ technology can also be used to produce low-carbon hydrogen, methanol, and ammonia, in addition to biochar.

MASH Makes has opened its first plant in Karnataka, India, and additional plants are in development throughout India and Vietnam. The company has received €3.75 million in financing from Nefco, the Nordic Green Bank, including a recent €2 million loan that will be used to construct a second commercial pyrolysis facility in India. The company is also a Top 20 finalist for XPRIZE Carbon Removal and its $50 million prize.

Written By: Lisa Magloff


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