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Canadian biochar firm raises €35.5m in funding round

Airex Energy has raised $38 million (€35.5m) in a funding round that will accelerate the Quebec company’s plans to expand its production of low-carbon industrial and agricultural products made from biomass, reported the Globe and Mail.

The seven-year-old company employs its own technology to turn sawmill byproducts and logging residue into biocoal pellets at its plant in Bécancour, Quebec. Biocoal can replace coal in power plants, slashing greenhouse-gas emissions by 90%, according to Airex.

The financing is led by Cycle Capital and includes existing investors Investissement Québec, Desjardins-Innovatech and Export Development Canada. A new investor, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, joined the group in the funding round.

It also has a recently renewed partnership with France’s Suez Group to develop markets for biochar, which is used as an additive in soil, and can also sequester carbon if processed into building materials such as concrete.
Airex will use proceeds from the funding round to increase capacity at its commercial-scale Bécancour biocoal plant, Michel Gagnon, the company’s chief executive, said in an interview.

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