finance

Circular economy start-up appoints new chief executive



Carbogenics has appointed a new chief executive with a track record in sustainability and innovation.

Ed Craig, founder and former executive director of the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, joins the circular economy start-up having been executive dean at the Centre for Business, Innovation and Enterprise at Staffordshire University.

He is also an honorary professor at the University of Edinburgh, sits on the international advisory board of Sjtu Low Carbon College in Shanghai, is a senior affiliate to Boston University and advises both SCDI and WWF Scotland.

Craig began his business career in the 1990s in the wastewater treatment sector.

The former spin-out from the University of Edinburgh is still based in the university’s King’s Buildings. It has a staff of seven, but expects this to rise to 10 by the end of this year.

Founded in 2016, Carbogenics produces an additive which improves the efficiency of anaerobic digestion plants, which in turn produce biogas for heating properties and liquid fertiliser for farmland.

The additive – known as CreChar – is made in a high-temperature, low-oxygen process using difficult-to-recycle organic waste, such as coffee cups and cardboard.

CreChar helps stabilise the digestion process, creating better growth conditions for the microorganisms that produce the biogas. This results in higher quality gas and fertiliser, along with increased production efficiency.

It can also be used to improve the performance of sewage treatment in the wastewater industry, as well as a soil restorer to lock-in carbon.

Craig explained: “Anaerobic digestion has a big role to play if we’re serious about net zero – there are 700 such plants in the UK and Carbogenics could transform their efficiency.

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“I’m impressed by the rigorous analysis we’ve been doing of our CreChar product at an anaerobic digestion plant in Stirlingshire – it is my intention we underline its robustness with further tests using different plants and different feedstocks.”

Tony Schofield, chair of the Carbogenics board, said: “Carbogenics’ vision is to become a leader in carbon up-cycling for a circular economy future and a greener, cleaner world for everyone.

“This is achieved through the production of sustainable carbon adsorbents from difficult to recycle organic waste – one of the many practical applications of these functional carbons is to enhance anaerobic digestion.”

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