Blenheim company CarbonScape has patented and innovative method for turning waste sawdust, such as from common radiata pine, into valuable graphite.
Graphite is used in many applications such as lithium-ion batteries and is considered a ‘strategic mineral’ by the US. It is currently mined, with the bulk coming from China, and synthetic graphite is produced using a high-energy, intensive process involving petroleum pitch and tar, taking carbon out of the ground.
“Doing it fast and doing it green is our mantra”, says CarbonScape chief executive Oliver Foster.
CarbonScape’s patented 2-step method uses microwaves and pressure to convert wet, raw sawdust into graphite, quickly and efficiently. Their process takes hours, not weeks.
Company develops ‘green’ graphite from forestry waste – Stuff, 19 June 2018