Climate-tech firm WasteX to fast-track use of biochar in PH

WasteX, a climate-tech company, is working on accelerating the use of biochar, a charcoal-like and carbon-rich substance derived from biomass, in the Philippines.

Recently, WasteX introduced biochar in a poultry farm in Cavite hoping to introduce a more sustainable farming system boosting production at the same time.

The company introduced the technology in Indonesia in January this year operating until March, in partnership with Pitik Digital Indonesia. WasteX is a portfolio company of Wavemaker Partners, Southeast Asia’s leading early-stage venture capital firm investing in Enterprise, Deep Tech, and Sustainability, co-founded by Filipinos Eric Manlunas and Paul Santos.

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“The addition of biochar to our bedding and feed has yielded multiple operational benefits,” said Rymax Joehana, Co-Founder and COO of Pitik, “We are in detailed discussions with WasteX to explore scaling up this model, benefiting more of our Kawan Pitik farmers and improving the environmental sustainability of Pitik’s operations.”

WasteX carbonizer

Improvements in broiler chicken production

Biochar is produced from rice husk and poultry litter using WasteX’s proprietary equipment at one of Pitik’s farms. The biochar was then incorporated into the farm’s operations in two ways:1. as a bedding additive of up to 10% of the total bedding2. as a feed supplement of up to 2% of the feed.

According to WasteX, the supplementation of bedding with up to 10% biochar led to substantial improvements in the farm’s broiler chicken production. 

“The results were impressive, with a 25% reduction in chicken mortality rate, a 30% decrease in overall bedding use, and the farm achieving the highest-ever recorded value in its Performance Index. Furthermore, there was a slight decrease in the feed conversion ratio or FCR,” it said in a media release.

Also, by supplementing the feed with up to 2% biochar, the poultry farm experienced a near-complete eradication of the E. coli population, contributing to enhanced biosecurity measures and healthier poultry.

Additional savings

“While we anticipated operational improvements and benefits from the generation and sale of carbon credits, the additional income and savings resulting from decreased mortality rates and reduced bedding use will far surpass the carbon credit proceeds,” said Pawel Kuznicki, founder and CEO of WasteX. 

WasteX’s pilot findings revealed that total benefits for a 20,000-chicken farm would amount to more than $5,000 or P275,000 annually in additional savings and income.