Transform Energy

It Takes a Village to End Climate Change

Torrefaction of farmed woodMother Nature takes 300 million years to produce coal. Transform Energy’s volunteer team of Ball Aerospace engineers have converted mesquite chips (an invasive biomass) into “green coal” in one hour.

We will produce green coal in radically affordable kilns in 100,000 villages, shortening distances for collecting biomass and distributing fuel to customers, and burning green coal to produce radically distributed electricity which reduces transmission line losses.

This economical, environment-friendly fuel mimics nature’s balanced carbon cycle. This clean replacement for coal, when burned efficiently, creates minimal climate impact and will fill gaps left by solar and wind. Replacing coal means greatly reducing 40% of global carbon emissions, while simultaneously creating a clean way to continue providing 45% of the world’s electricity.

Check out this video of Paul Polak explaining the revolutionary process:

Climate change has fast become the planet’s greatest challenge, caused primarily by burning fossil fuels that took 300 million years to create. Burning them releases carbon dioxide from that era into our atmosphere. Transform Energy is working to turn current bio-waste into “green coal” – torrefied biomass produced in radically-dispersed, and affordable kilns. This creates a virtuous cycle where plants pull carbon dioxide from the air to grow and burning torrefied biomass releases carbon dioxide from this era.

Torrefaction is a process that is exactly the same as roasting coffee. It reduces the mass of the input material while keeping most of the available energy, thus creating a highly energy dense fuel. Torrefied mesquite has a thermal density of 4.6 to 5.4 Kilocalories per kilo which is competitive with coal currently imported to India from Australia and Indonesia.

Transform Energy plans to create a marketable substitute for coal by transforming mesquite and other invasive hardwoods through a village-based process of torrefaction. Additionally, Transform Energy will create a million new jobs by creating 100,000 200-hectare mesquite plantations in semi-arid village locations in countries like India. Three years after the seedlings are planted, mesquite (prosipis Juliflora) can produce a 165 foot tap root and plentiful above-ground, harvestable wood. In the third year, each plantation can produce ten tons of mesquite chips which can be turned into seven tons of blackened coal substitute. In India alone, the resulting 700,000 tons of coal per year can significantly reduce the contribution to climate change from India’s current burning of coal to produce electricity. In this process, we will fulfill the energy needs of vast, underserved populations, and raise 100 million people out of poverty.

Transform Energy is an example of Paul Polak’s Business Solution to Poverty, empowering people who live on $2/day to lift themselves up and out of poverty.