Sustainable Agriculture Startup Profiles
UPDATE – 05/10/2011 – Biochar Engineering Corporation has sold its IP and R&D facility to a private company that has the capital necessary to rapidly scale biochar technology. All other company activity, including research support services, biochar sales, and the commercialization of the existing pilot-scale technology has been spun off into a new company, Biochar Solutions Inc.
ORIGINAL STORY – 04/09/2011 – What if I told you that charcoal could remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and act as a carbon sink. Or that charcoal has the potential to play a major role in the future of agriculture through its ability to restore and invigorate topsoil that is essential for all crop growth. You’re probably rolling your eyes right now.
If I said the word ‘agriculture’ to you, would you think of cows grazing, endless fields of corn, grain silos, and red barns? Or, would you think about modern farm technology in agriculture like GPS, remote sensors, aeroponic systems, on-farm renewable energy systems, et al?
Whatever you envisioned, chances are the word nanotechnology did not immediately come to mind. So, how does nanotechnology play a role in supporting sustainable agriculture?
People are moving in ever increasing numbers from rural areas into urban city centers. Global population is expected to increase by nearly 40% to 9 billion people in the next 40 years. Threats to agriculture from climate change, loss of arable land, pesticide resistance, and water shortages continue to grow more acute. As noted in our previous article “Urban and Agriculture Can Coexist,” cities and their attendant entrepreneurs will need to embrace urban agriculture in order to meet this future demand for food and ensure food security.
Seedstock is always interested in learning more about who’s out there starting companies in the sustainable agriculture space. Today we were fortunate enough to speak with Seth Burns, CEO of San Diego, CA based Biogas & Electric LLC.
Burns is a fourth generation cattle rancher with an MBA who hails from Big Timber, Montana and possesses firsthand knowledge of the potential for biogas, (the gas produced by the biological breakdown of organic matter such as livestock waste in the absence of oxygen), to promote sustainable agriculture.
Imagine transforming everyday organic waste into sustainably grown food. Well imagine no further, because that’s exactly what Harvest Power is enabling farmers and producers to do by developing, building, and operating state-of-the-art facilities that produce soil enhancement and renewable energy products from discarded organic materials. By harvesting these materials, the company enables communities and businesses to increase their energy independence, reduce their environmental impact and reliably manage their organic waste.