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A ceramic planter made with biochar to trap carbon

In a collaboration between US-based companies OurCarbon, Break, and Sum Studio created a ceramic planter made with biochar, which traps greenhouse gasses.

Developed by the Bioforcetech Corporation, OurCarbon is a material made of organic waste. When organic waste biodegrades, the carbon the plants absorbed during their lifetime is released back into the air, as well as more potent greenhouse gasses like methane. Organics rotting in the landfill are equal to the emissions of over 20 million cars annually.

The process of OurCarbon can convert any type of organic waste in renewable energy and carbon rich biochar, preventing landfill emissions. The energy powers the machine, which creates the material using a combination of drying and pyrolysis, while the biochar material can be used as a paint colourant, fabric dye, soil amendment, filtration substrate, and material additive.

With Potted Carbon, the studios Break and Sum Studio integrated the OurCarbon material in a ceramic planter. It is made of a white custom porcelain mix with the black carbon material as tiny particles scattered inside.

The planter is hand made using slip casting, making each planter unique. When the planter is de-moulded and dried, a thin layer of porcelain is wiped away using a sponge to reveal the biochar below the surface. After that, the pots are kiln fired. The OurCarbon material contains waste silica that melts into a glass-like material when fired, creating a glaze. The planter can hold a standard 15 cm (6 inch) nursery pot.

The Potted Carbon planter is currently available on Kickstarter. With each pot purchase the company promises to prevent 227 kilograms (500 pounds) of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.

Photos: OurCarbon