Planet Portfolio

Biochar Made From Pistachio Shells

Turning nut waste into clean energy and soil-boosting high quality biochar.

California, United States

About this Project

VGrid's proprietary 'Bioserver' technology transforms agricultural waste, such as pistachio shells, into clean and sustainable energy. The technology is offered in a mobile, modular, and scalable unit that is also highly flexible, easy to deploy, and optimized to local market needs. This approach is more efficient and provides for a lower overall carbon footprint since biomass does not have to be transported long distances to a central facility, and the co-products can also be sold and used locally.

In creating clean bioenergy, VGrid’s process produces a high-quality biochar with greater than 90% fixed carbon content and maximum porosity. This biochar can hold 6 times its weight in water, helping to retain moisture in the soil, a critical advantage for farms in times of drought. VGrid's clean energy is produced sustainably, consistently, and on-demand. The company’s mobile bioenergy gasifiers have been operating in the Central Valley of California for several years. Based on three years of field data, the technology has proven its reliability, predictability, and scalability.

VGrid’s stabilized carbon will remain sequestered in the soil for hundreds of years. In doing so, VGrid is preventing the waste biomass from releasing its carbon back into the atmosphere when it decomposes.

Why We Picked This Project

VGrid is taking agricultural waste and creating a high quality, premium product that is reversing climate change, re-energizing soil, and creating water savings. V-Grid’s modular biochar production enables on-demand and on-farm biochar production. As an early-stage producer, this project helps the project developer scale its efforts and make its biochar available to farmers in the region at a lower cost, increasing soil carbon content and productivity.

Our Assessment of this Project

Project Developer

Standards & Certifications

  • USDA BioPreferred® Program

  • Biochar Carbon Removal Methodology 2022


Dec 2017 - First deployment

Alpha Bioserver and Genset first deployed. Single engine diesel 6.8L (manual operation)

Mar 2019 - Beta Bioserver and Genset

Six total units deployed at two sites. Single IC engine configured for natural gas (manual operation)

Jan 2020 - Production milestone

Production model Bioserver 100 and Genset 100 first deployed. V10 truck engines with automation.

Jun 2020 - Production milestone

Five units in production at current site in Visalia, California.

May 2021 - Trial completed

500-hour validation trial successfully completed with NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory).

Oct 2021 - Grid connection

Grid connection completed with PG&E and SCE at two sites.

Mar 2022 - Capacity Increase

Bioserver 200 and Genset 200 versions release with increased capacity.

Jul 2022 - Project certified

VGrid Certified as CO2 Removal Certificate (CORC) Supplier by

Benefits & Impact


  • Improves the water retention and microbial activity in the soil, helping to mitigate the impact of drought and naturally improve the long-term health and productivity of decimated soils.

  • Captures contaminants in stormwater runoff, leachate, and other point-source pollution.

  • Accelerates the composting process while reducing compost GHG emissions.

  • Improves animal and livestock health, both as a feed supplement and animal bedding deodorizer.

Sustainable Development Goals

This project supports the following UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Clean Water and SanitizationAffordable and Clean EnergyResponsible Consumption and ProductionClimate ActionLife On Land

Additional Information




200-1000 years

Additionality Summary

Carbon finance is vital to both the success of VGrid’s current operations and its future expansion. Revenue generated from CORCs will directly support the company’s ability to scale production, attract new investment, and increase its sales and distribution of biochar.