Airex Energy® is the company behind the patented CarbonFX torrefaction technology that transforms sawmill by-products and forest biomass into value-added products. Initially oriented towards the distribution of green energy using torrefied pellets, Airex Energy® has also been leading R&D projects for several years to identify and validate the benefits of using their biochar for agriculture and horticulture. Performance demonstrations were carried out by various Quebec research centres, both university and college. After reaching successful results, Airex Energy® wanted to commercialize its biochar for the horticultural, agricultural and the environmental remediation sectors. However, biochar is considered a soil amendment in Canada, and is subject to the Fertilizers Act based on a level II safety assessment. Under this legislation, biochar must obtain a registration number from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA/ACIA) before being marketed. Airex Energy® therefore commissioned Biopterre to help them throughout the registration procedures with the authorities.
Biopterre communicated with the CFIA and began the registration procedure. Every effort was made to maximize the chances of success and to shorten the time to obtain the registration number. Filing documents were drafted by Biopterre, except for the corporate documents. Biopterre was closely involved with the company in the development of the product label and use instructions, both regulated by the CFIA. In the end, the entire registration process lasted 15 months and in June 2018, that Airex Energy®’s BiocharFX obtained the registration number 2018072-A, valid until July 2021. As a result, Airex Energy® became the first Quebec company and─to our knowledge─the only one to have registered biochar at the CFIA.
Airex Energy® placed its trust in Biopterre’s team, which was able to carry out this project in close collaboration with the company and the CFIA.
Impact for the company
The main impact of obtaining a registration number for Airex Energy® is the possibility to market a certified biochar product, thus diversifying its products and markets. This makes Airex Energy® a leading biochar supplier for agricultural, horticultural and environmental purposes, especially since only there are only six registered biochars in Canada and Airex Energy® is the supplier that can produce large volumes for these markets.