Kremmling company looks to patent TrueChar technology
KREMMLING — Confluence Energy recently developed and is currently in the patenting process for a new product called TrueChar.
TrueChar is the name brand of Confluence Energy’s biochar. Biochar is a wood-based product, similar to charcoal, produced by burning wood and stopping the process before the wood burns entirely to ash and before the carbon stored in the wood is released.
Other forms and brands of biochar exist but what sets Confluence Energy apart is their process for making the product. As Mark Mathis, CEO of Confluence Energy said, “We have developed a cost-effective way to produce it for commercial sale. The process can be scaled to larger sizes.”
Biochar is a fixed carbon product, meaning it produces no additional release of carbon and therefore has no impact on global warming. Biochar is also being looked at for possible uses related to carbon sequestration, or the capturing and storing of carbon produced from other sources.
The TrueChar product developed by Confluence Energy has around 55 different applications in various industries. According to Mathis tests recently conducted on golf courses in California showed a 42 percent improvement in soil moisture retention while using the biochar. It also has multiple agricultural applications related to soil’s retention of nitrates and phosphates. It is being looked at as an additive for animal feed among many other uses.
Confluence Energy is excited about its Nature’s Scoop Cat Litter. The litter is all natural, pine based, and uses biochar to aide in both moisture absorption and odor control.
“We have designed a best in class kitty liter,” said Mathis. “It is the best performing natural kitty liter on the market, bar none.”
Mathis was proud that the products are produced locally in Grand and Jackson counties.
“We believe if we get enough traction with this product it would create a lot of jobs in the area,” he said.
The TrueChar produced by Confluence Energy is made from beetle kill pine harvested locally. It is just another aspect of the company’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and being environmentally friendly, Mathis said.
The company began operations in 2008, specifically looking at using the growing quantities of beetle kill pine available in Grand County. They initially produced wood pellets for residential and commercial heating purposes. They have since expanded, producing other biomass materials for various industries including oil field waste treatment, water recycling and automotive maintenance among others.
During the last year, through the development of TrueChar, Confluence Energy has reduced its carbon footprint by an additional 25 percent. By utilizing the thermal energy created in their pellet production process the company is able to get 50 percent of its power needs covered by renewable biomass.
While TrueChar and the work done at Confluence Energy might not solve global warming on it’s own, they provide an innovative and environmentally conscious business model.
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