Our Carbon

Our Carbon

When water is cleaned the remaining sludge is one of the most pollutant-rich manmade substances on Earth. Around 53 million tonnes of these biosolids are produced in the UK each year, and are extremely expensive to dispose of. OurCarbon has found an energy neutral way to transform this organic waste into valuable products. Created by Bioforcetech, OurCarbon can be used as pigments and as a material additive, while also preventing 10 tons of CO2e entering the atmosphere per ton of the material. One of their biggest challenges is an adjustment in the behaviour of people, as there is a stigma against organic waste and also little infrastructure in place for collection and processing.


This embodied carbon material could be used to build cities completely out of closed loop waste. One of the main uses of the OurCarbon material is as a partial aggregate/sand replacement in concrete. By making this adjustment there is an opportunity to neutralise the footprint of concrete, which is an incredibly carbon intensive material and contributes to ecosystem destruction. Cast resin applications have also been investigated. Putting OurCarbon in cast resin creates a deep black final composite that requires half as much resin compared to a pigmented black resin cast. OurCarbon has also been used in low fire ceramic applications, kiln fired glass tiles, and much more.

OurCarbon is also highly effective as a pigment, which can be used to colour paints, as a 3D print filament, wood stain, and screen printing ink. This pigment was recently added to a new 80% bio-based screen printing ink by Virus Inks. Usual black pigments are made in a carbon-intensive process that involves the burning of fossil fuels and uses chemical processing.




The biosolids that Bioforcetech receives are known as ‘biosolids cakes’, diverted from environmentally harmful disposal sites such as landfills. This wet/muddy product has excess water removed in the BioDryer, and the dry product left over is much easier to manage. The drier material goes through a process called pyrolysis, a thermochemical decomposition of organic material through the application of heat without the addition of extra oxygen, which transforms the organics into biochar. This biochar is a fixed carbon material which hugely benefits the soil. It sequesters carbon directly into ecosystems and allows soil to hold onto water through times of drought, while also increasing soil microbiology. OurCarbon is a little different from usual biochar as it comes from wastewater residuals. This means it comes packed with nitrogen and phosphorus, allowing farmers to drastically reduce their use of synthetic fertilisers.


The material is extremely porous, giving it a high surface area in a small particle which can be advantageous when looking to capture particles from a gas or liquid. Testing is currently underway to look at its ability to filter contaminants from stormwater, remediate environmentally hazardous sites, and more. This means that it could replace chemical and carbon intensive granular activated carbons and synthetic polymers. This results in cleaner air, water, and ecosystems.