Frequently asked questions

001. Does the OBRIST C-Transformer already exist?

No, the OBRIST C-Transformer is still only a concept that needs to be fully researched and developed. 

We think that it is an idea worth pursuing, to effecively tackle the most burning problem today: climate change.

Unfortunately, we cannot do this alone. We need you to help us realize the concept and address this problem.

002. What does the "C" in C-Transformer stand for?

The "C" in C-Transformer stands for carbon, this is the chemical abbreviation.

We chose this name because it fits the main task that the OBRIST C-Transformer will be tackling: transforming carbon from one form (CO2) into another (biochar).

003. What is the basic idea behind the OBRIST C-Transformer?

The basic idea of the OBRIST C-Transformer is clearing our atmosphere from CO2 by making use of the natural breathing process of our trees and storing carbon in forest grounds over the long term.

On one hand this has the aim to cleanse carbon from our air and therefore help counteract climate change, while on the other hand this has the advantage of creating self-sustaining healthy permaculture by storing carbon in the forest soil over the long term, rendering it richer in moisture and nutrients, which creates a nurturing base for new vegetation to grow.

This will happen through a combination of different technologies. CO2, which can’t be reduced naturally, will be taken out of the air with the help of trees. It will then be stored in the soil via a charring process of the trees' wood where the carbon has been stored. The processed wood will be reforested immediately after.

The C-Transformer is one of the first takes to create a machine which not only compensates present emissions, but also emissions from the past to stop the ongoing, human caused climate change and even reverse it. 

004. What is special about coal-enriched soil?

The coal in the ground will give the soil a darker color. Because of the sponge-like structure of the coal, it can store nutrients and water longer and better than standard unenriched soil. This can help with the growth of both the young trees and the general vegetation in the forest. Due to the greater humidity storage capabilities, the soil does not require additional watering for the newly growing vegetation. The coal-enriched soil is very similar in both appearance and characteristics to the very fertile Chernozem soil.


005. Why is the OBRIST C-Transformer so important?

The OBRIST C-Transformer will be able to change our forests from almost CO2-neutral to CO2-reducing which will be its main feature in turning climate change around.

It will also resolve many problems that other carbon storage methods have. Directly processing the wood where it’s chopped leads to eliminating costly transports and resulting CO2 emissions, while the implementation of biochar in the soil does not only store the carbon efficiently, but also enhances fertility. This fertility will be used to immediately recreate young healthy mixed forests with a special focus on diversity of species and natural environment for animals. In this manner, it will be able to help change areas of monoculture into thriving permaculture.

Furthermore, the OBRIST C-Transformer will use a combination of technologies and machines which are already known, reducing the time needed to be able to implement the C-Transformer worldwide.

006. What is a CO2 neutral forest?

We refer to a fully-grown forest as a CO2-neutral forest as the net amount of natural CO2 absorption is not very significant. This is because of the natural balance between growing young trees that are storing carbon and old trees which will die at some point and release their stored carbon back into the atmosphere.

007. What is a CO2 reducing forest?

A forest is CO2 reducing when the net amount of natural CO2 absorption is higher than the amount of CO2 emissions, such as through dying trees. This occurs when the forest is still young and builds up big amounts of biomass.

008. Why is reforestation not a sufficient solution?

Reforestation is needed but alone is not sufficient to stop climate change and compensate CO2 emissions. Let us explain:

A young, growing forest generates dry mass by storing carbon out of CO2 in the wood. When that forest is fully grown and the first trees start to decay, the carbon which has been stored in the wood before, gets released back into the atmosphere in the form of CO2. Simultaneously new trees start to grow and absorb additional CO2.

However, at some point, the amount of dying and growing trees almost balances out, and from that point on, the maximum resultant CO2 removal level is reached and no additional significant CO2 absorptions can be expected. This forest then becomes what we call a CO2-neutral forest because the amount of carbon filtered out of the air and the amount that is released back are more or less equal. 

Also, when the growth of old, fully grown trees stagnates and then declines after a certain amount of years, they transform less CO2 into wood than a young tree.

Therefore, without the C-Transformer, forests are not the air cleaners we need them to be to counter-act global warming.

It is however possible and desirable to reforest new areas (e.g. abandoned agricultural land) and then process the new forests using the C-Transformer.

009. Why can't CO2 be reduced naturally?

CO2 cannot be reduced naturally simply because we are way faster in producing massive amounts of CO2 emissions than nature can reduce it.

For millions of years the ecosystems of our planet have continuously regulated the presence of CO2 and other so-called greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. 

However, we humans have started to drastically increase these CO2 emissions to an extent that the balance has been totally lost and Mother Nature is not able to reduce by herself anymore. 

010. What are the advantages of young trees for climate change?

Young trees have the big advantage that through their potential growth rate they filter more carbon out of the air.

The growth rate of a young tree increases significantly after the first several years. In terms of climate change this means that more carbon gets filtered out of the air. The more a tree grows, the more carbon it stores. 

They also grow more dynamically and are able to adapt better to given circumstances, while using less energy on repairs or similar processes.

On the contrary, the growth of old, fully grown trees stagnates and then declines after a certain amount of years. They transform less CO2 into wood than a young tree.

011. Why do young trees consume more carbon?

Young trees consume more carbon because of their increased biomass growth.

The biomass growth directly relates to the amount of carbon a tree is binding and will therefore be crucial for our operation. It starts to decline after a certain number of years. That means that at one point the growth of old trees stagnates and therefore also the production of biomass together with the carbon binding rate. 

Because of this, young trees consume more carbon in comparison to older trees. They simply have a higher biomass growth.

012. What is biomass and why will it be important to us?

Biomass is the total mass of living organisms in a given ecosystem, including waste and deceased mass. Since we are concentrating on the usage of wood, we refer to the total mass of wood as biomass.

Biomass is critical to us, since trees worldwide extract CO2 from the atmosphere and bind the occurring carbon in the form of wood, effectively building biomass. The amount of biomass therefore directly correlates to the amount of stored carbon and will be important to the efficiency of the process.

013. How will the OBRIST C-Transformer change a CO2 neutral into a CO2 reducing forest?

In order to understand this, we need to first take a look at the natural CO2 cycle during the life span of trees. They naturally filter CO2 from the air and store carbon within their wood (biomass) while they are growing. The more they grow, the more carbon they need.

When trees die and their wood decomposes, the carbon gets released back into the atmosphere. This is where their lives become neutral, because the carbon they absorbed is returned. 

The OBRIST C-Transformer will make trees effectively CO2-reducing because it will char them before they decompose and return their carbon into the atmosphere.

Instead of being released into the air, the carbon will then be brought into a stable form - biochar - and securely and efficiently stored in the ground. Another positive argument is that the carbon will not only be definitively removed from the air, but also will benefit the forest soil by enhancing its fertility and moisture.

At the same time, new trees will be planted which will immediately start the reforestation process and lead to even more air-cleansing trees. 

Already existing young trees will be preserved so that they will be able to continue binding more carbon and therefore reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

014. Will the OCT's working process be CO2 neutral?

Definitely yes.

In order to make an efficient impact on CO2 balance, the working process of the OBRIST C-Transformer will not only be required to be CO2 neutral, but also to be able to reduce emissions. Otherwise, any net compensation would not be possible.

015. Why is the pyrolysis of trees effectively CO2-negative?

When a tree grows, it absorbs CO2 and stores its carbon in the form of wood. After a while, the tree dies, its wood is decomposed and the carbon is released into the air again in the form of CO2. The entire lifespan of the tree is therefore CO2-neutral, even if it has stored much carbon in the course of its life.

The OBRIST C-Transformer will take the wood of the tree and char it. Only a small part of the wood will be converted into CO2 and released into the atmosphere. The other part will be brought into a stable state – coal. This coal will then be introduced into the soil and stored there in the long term. As a result, some of the carbon, which would otherwise be released into the air as CO2, will be removed from the natural carbon cycle in the long term and therefore also from the atmosphere, which is why the OBRIST C-Transformer will be CO2-negative.


016. What will the OBRIST C-Transformer be able to do, that other solutions against climate change cannot?

While other climate change solutions only address the reductions of COemissions, the OBRIST C-Transformer will do that as well, while simultaneously doing many other things.

First, its process of reducing CO2 from our atmosphere will be based on using natural resources exclusively to help nature. It will use the natural process of the trees to pull carbon from the air. CO2-neutral forests will be turned into CO2-reducing forests. 

Even more, the OBRIST C-Transformer will not only address the problem of too much CO2 in our atmosphere, but it will simultaneously help revitalize our forests by planting new trees and seedlings, leading to a greater biodiversity and creating healthy self-sustaining thriving ecosystems. Plus, it could be optimally used to transform areas of monoculture into lively permaculture.

In addition to this, the whole OBRIST C-Transformer process will also enhance fertility and quality of forest soil to support what has just been mentioned above. By putting biochar into the soil, nutrients and moisture can be stored better and longer and therefore provide nourishment for new vegetation to grow. 

This could make the OBRIST C-Transformer a long-term solution for our environment. After having reached the point of stopping climate change, the OBRIST C-Transformer could continue to actually reverse climate change and keep converting our forest areas into forests full of healthy biodiversity. This would make them self-sustaining, just like forests used to be before us humans destroyed the balance.

Another key factor will be the economic stimulation of areas which are usually economically low. Here, the OBRIST C-Transformer could be providing an opportunity to generate revenue from these forests without destroying the natural biodiversity.

The OBRIST C-Transformer can impulse the reforestation of harvested areas and the afforestation of degraded monoculture areas.

017. Why would the OBRIST C-Transformer be the best alternative to climate change in contrast to other solutions with less interference?

An example for other approaches of storing CO2 would be carbon storing in deep soil camps. These methods are facing uncontrollable hazards, such as large-scale leakage or the damage of the storage by earthquakes or other causes. In any case, even the slight risk of having the possibility that any form of the CO2 storage could be damaged is dangerous because it would mean the returning of CO2 into our atmosphere, demolishing the years of cleansing that have been done. Also, a big "wave" of CO2 rising up through the ground could potentially kill many people in the concerned areas.

These safety problems would not arise with the OBRIST C-Transformer. By transforming the carbon into a stable form, biochar, and storing it in the ground we have found an efficient and long-term solution with no risks of damage or leakage. Once the carbon will be in the ground it stays there and even more, it will enhance the soil fertility by storing nutrients and moisture more efficiently. 

With the C-Transformer this problem could be addressed holistically and effectively.

018. What are the advantages of carbon storage in the ground?

Carbon storage in the ground will provide two main benefits: 

On one side, the carbon will be securely and effectively stored while not being able to be dug out and burnt. Burning the carbon would return all the previously filtered carbon back into the air and re-pollute our atmosphere. Storage in the ground provides a long term efficient handling of the carbon so that it is "gone".

On the other side, the coal-enriched soil will have the great capability of storing moisture and nutrients due to its sponge like structure. Therefore, the soil will be enhanced in fertility, providing a nurturing ground for new vegetation to grow and storing moisture in a more efficient way so that additional watering for new plants will not be needed. 

Also, storing carbon in the ground doesn't show the risks that other carbon storage methods present. A common concept is to store CO2 in deep soil camps, but this has a high risk of leakage. Any form of rupture of these camps would return all the carbon back into our atmosphere and negate the cleansing procedure that has previously been done. Further, it would also be incredibly dangerous, since massive amounts of CO2 would escape through the ground and kill all humans and animals directly above the storage site.

019. How does the OBRIST C-Transformer work?

The OBRIST C-Transformer will drive self-sufficiently through the forest removing the old, grown trees. They will then be crushed and pressed to remove excess water. These wood chips will be pyrolyzed afterwards and the solid resultant product, biochar, will be cooled to prepare it for long-term storage in the ground, then finely ground and worked into the forest soil. In doing so, tree seeds will be dug in, which will immediately start the reforestation. At the same time, young trees will be completely excavated and replanted behind the machine so they will be able to continue to grow.

020. How will the OBRIST C-Transformer process trees?

Special harvesters, which do most of the felling work in Scandinavian countries already, will be used for cutting the trees.

When a tree will be deemed ready to be cut, the tree will be removed, including its roots, which will be cut off and then freed from any leaves or branches. The wood will then be put into the wood chipper while the roots, leaves and branches will be put on the ground behind the machine to provide sun screen for the fresh soil, a barrier to prevent erosion from rain and wind, and also a home for animals.

021. How will the OBRIST C-Transformer be able to differentiate between a young tree and an old one?

The differentiation will be done mainly by the machine, which will measure the tree’s height and thickness and make its decision based on these numbers. The assessment could be also checked by the crew on board.


The tree classification is dependent on the particular area and thus on the tree species.

022. How will the OBRIST C-Transformer deal with a young tree?

A young tree will be excavated by a tree spade as a whole, including its roots. It will then be placed to the side of the machine and will stay there until the rear end of the machine passes it. Finally, it will be picked up and inserted back into the forest ground where it will be able to continue to grow unhindered.

This is important because young trees filter more carbon out of the air due to their better growing rate. Only old fully-grown trees will be harvested by the OBRIST C-Transformer and their carbon stored in the ground.


023. Will replanting the young trees harm their roots?

The replanting process will not harm the young trees' roots. We will use a technique that is already successfully used to transplant the young trees. Big tree spades (excavating tools) will make sure that the root system of the trees stay intact. They will be relocated together with the soil around their roots so they will be able to continue to grow unhindered.

024. Will the transplant disturb young trees during growth?

The transplanting process will not harm the young trees in any way when done properly. To ensure that, big tree spades will be used to excavate the trees together with their roots and the surrounding soil.

By doing this the root system will stay safe and intact, and the growth of young trees will not be disturbed.


025. What will be the ratio of cut-down and newly planted trees?

We will be aiming to maintain the original tree density or even increase it just slightly to get a forest which is as natural as possible. That means for one carbonized old tree, there will be at least one new seedling planted. 

026. How many new trees will be planted for one old tree?

The OBRIST C-Transformer intends to maintain the original tree density or increase it slightly. That means that for every old tree, at least one new tree will be planted.

027. What will the OBRIST C-Transformer actually plant?

The OBRIST C-Transformer will work seeds from existing trees on site as well as new ones (if necessary) into the ground. Depending on the area and the local ecosystem, types of seeds will be chosen that naturally support the forest's bio-diversity. For example, the OBRIST C-Transformer could be used to dismantle existing palm oil plants and plant a natural forest, which could bring ecological benefits and could also be financially interesting for plant operators.

028. How will the C-Transformer decide which trees will be planted?

The decision will be made in advance by the crew operating the OBRIST C-Transformer. According to the type of forest and the local ecosystem, a mixture of seeds will be chosen that best supports the growth of the new vegetation towards a healthy biodiverse forest. 


029. Will multiple kinds of trees be planted?

Yes, we will be trying to create healthy biodiverse self-sustaining forests.

A combination of multiple tree species can lead to a more stable ecosystem due to nutrient diversity in the soil as well as resistance against pests.

Therefore, the OBRIST C-Transformer will plant as many different species of trees as possible with regard to the local ecosystem and the kind of forest that is being harvested.

030. Do conifers or leaf trees show differences in their CO2 uptake?

The topic of binding CO2 is a little bit more complex than the differentiation between conifers and leaf trees. Considering the direct correlation between biomass and carbon storage, a good rule of thumb is that a tree binds more CO2 the more biomass growth it has. That means the more wood it grows, the more CO2 it binds. Since different tree species need different living conditions to thrive, each region needs to be looked at individually to determine the best growing tree species.

According to NC State University, a single tree can absorb CO2 at a rate of 48lb per year and can sequester 1 ton by the time it reaches 40 years old. An acre of trees absorbs enough CO2 over one year to equal the amount produced by a car driving 26,000 miles.

Replanting trees remains one of the cheapest, most effective means of drawing excess CO2 from the atmosphere.

031. How will the rearing and control of the growth of the transplanted trees and seedlings work?

There will be no additional care or control needed.

The whole set up of the fertile soil together with fresh tree seeds and seedlings will be creating a base for new vegetation to grow naturally without any additional human interference. Nature will simply be doing its job.

A healthy forest has the capability of maintaining itself.

032. How long will it take for the new trees to grow into big trees?

This will depend on the type of forest ecosystems and the species of trees.

In general, it will around 40 to 50 years for an average coniferous forest to be grown enough to be processed. This is why an area will get worked only once every 45 years by the OBRIST C-Transformer so it will be made sure to leave enough time for the new ecosystem to thrive.


033. Will chemical substances be used to protect the replanted trees and seeds?

No chemical substances will be used in any way to protect the new growing vegetation. Our aim is to create self-sustaining and thriving biodiverse ecosystems. A natural biodiverse forest is able to sustain itself and does not necessarily need the "help" of any chemicals. It can hold its balance by itself.

That is why, besides the incorporation of biochar in the soil, there won’t be any additional help or protection. The addition of biochar has the advantage of storing more water and nutrients for a longer period of time due to its sponge-like structure.

034. How will the new seeds and young trees be watered?

Water originating from the pressing and drying of the wood can be added as an initial moisturizing of the soil. The biochar in the soil will help to store more water due to its sponge-like structure.  Apart from this, the tending of the forest will be left to nature. No additional watering should be needed.

035. What will happen during drought periods?

In the process of climate change, we will be facing drought periods more than we are used to. However, the biochar in the soil will help forests worked by the OBRIST C-Transformer to make them more drought resistant because biochar has the capability of storing water for a longer period of time compared to normal forest soils.

Also, forests processed by the OBRIST C-Transformer will have additional protection from sunlight due to the branches, leaves and roots of the harvested trees that will be spread on the ground.


036. What will happen during rain periods?

The elution of the soil and the resulting loss of nutrients will be minimized by planting the young trees back and thus stabilizing the soil with their roots. Additionally, the biochar in the soil will store nutrients and prevents losing them.

037. Could the coal-enriched soil store additional moisture in case of long rain periods?

Yes, due to the sponge-like structure of biochar, coal-enriched soil could be able to store moisture as well as nutrients much better, while also retaining them for much longer.

038. How will you deal with the issue of erosion?

The problem of erosion will be minimized by transplanting the young trees behind the machine which will stabilize the soil through the roots. The OBRIST C-Transformer will not work very steep surfaces, which are most strongly threatened by erosion.

039. How tall will the OBRIST C-Transformer be?

This will be dependent on factors such as the optimized size for each individual machine and the size of the forest to be processed.

According to current estimations, the C-Transformer will be about 650ft long and 100ft wide.

040. How will the OBRIST C-Transformer be driven?

The wood will become the fuel for the OBRIST C-Transformer. How? In order to produce biochar a process called pyrolysis will be needed.

Pyrolysis also produces by-products such as wood gas and pyrolysis oil. These resources will directly be used to run the OBRIST C-Transformer and keep the various processes in motion. In this way, the machine will only be using products directly originating from the processed wood and therefore will run exclusively on renewable energy sources. It will not need any external energy for operation, except for a negligible amount needed for starting the self-sufficient process.

041. Will the power obtained be enough to operate the OBRIST C-Transformer?

Yes, there is enough energy available in wood in order to run the OBRIST C-Transformer and all machines involved.

The gas obtained by pyrolysis will be used to maintain the pyrolysis process as well as the drying process.

The pyrolysis oil obtained from the liquid products generated through pyrolysis will be used for the additional processes related to movements and tool functions.

042. How will the self-sufficient process work?

Since the OBRIST C-Transformer will be using pyrolysis to process wood into biochar, secondary products in the form of high-energy gases and liquids will also occur. These by-products will be used to power the machine and its processes. 

The gases will be used to keep the pyrolysis process running while the liquids will be used to power the rest of the machine.

043. Will you use solar energy?

No. Trees can be viewed as a storage of decades of solar energy and this energy will be sufficient to run the OBRIST C-Transformer solely on trees. Besides, to ensure solar operation, a lot of batteries would have to be carried around in order to run the machine 24/7, and that would make for a major disadvantage regarding weight. Furthermore, the by-products of the charring processes would have to be carried away from the machine constantly, resulting in frequent costly transports and the reduction of the independence of the OBRIST C-Transformer, so it will be best to use the available by-products directly.



044. Are there examples of machines that are run purely on wood?

Yes, for example there are wood gasifiers that produce combustible wood gas. This gas was used a long time ago to power cars and even trains.

Pyrolysis gases are byproducts of pyrolysis (a process where the structure of organic materials like wood gets decomposed and changes under high temperature). These gases can be generated purely from wood and therefore will provide power from renewable sources to drive the OBRIST C-Transformer.



045. How will the OBRIST C-Transformer be moving?

The movement of the OBRIST C-Transformer according to current research will be realized by two rows of legs with rolls on their feet, with which the machine will be moving through the forest. By doing this, it will be possible to overcome obstacles and to move through tough terrain.

The wheels will be specially designed to ensure mobility on land as well as on water. They will probably feature golf-ball-like dimples on the outside which provide traction on difficult terrain while being able to propel the machine forward while driving over water.


046. How will the OBRIST C-Transformer be turning?

The spiral form of the processing routes has the advantage that the OBRIST C-Transformer will only have to turn around rarely. The routes will be designed with a minimum turning radius so that the machine will have enough room for maneuvering.

047. Will the OBRIST C-Transformer be able to reverse?

For emergencies, the OBRIST C-Transformer will have the ability to reverse. However, cases like this should be avoided by planning the working route beforehand and will not be expected during normal operation.

048. How will the OBRIST C-Transformer navigate through the woods?

For each OBRIST C-Transformer a route through the designated area will be selected and forwarded to the machine, so the crew on board will be able to follow it using GPS data.

049. How will the OBRIST C-Transformer know which area it is allowed to edit and which it is not?

This will already be clarified before the start of the machine and taken into account during the route selection. The data of the spiral route programming will be sent to the machine and will be guiding its navigation. Additional checking will be done by the crew on board to make sure that everything runs according to plan and no new growing forest will be destroyed.


050. What will happen in steep terrain?

The working route of the OBRIST C-Transformer will be laid out prior to the start to avoid insurmountable obstacles. This scenario will therefore not be expected due to this prior investigation of the area and the off-road capabilities of the C-Transformer.

051. What will happen when a body of water has to be crossed?

The OBRIST C-Transformer will be designed so that the entire machine train will be floatable. The special wheels will serve as a propulsion system in the water. Larger bodies of water will also be considered during the planning of the routes. In this manner, a body of water should not be an obstacle for the OBRIST C-Transformer.

052. What will happen if the OBRIST C-Transformer gets stuck or faces an insurmountable obstacle?

In order to avoid that kind of scenario a thorough analysis of the area and a detailed planning of the OBRIST C-Transformer’s route will be important tasks to be addressed beforehand.

The selected terrain will have to be suitable so that the OBRIST C-Transformer will not encounter insurmountable obstacles.

053. Will the OBRIST C-Transformer act autonomously?

Yes and no.

Some processes will be programmed to run autonomously like following the spiral route and basic controls of movements. Other processes will have to be executed or checked by the crew on board such as classifying and choosing trees for harvesting as well as the inspection and care for new growing forests.

054. Will people be supporting the work of the OBRIST C-Transformer?

Yes, the work will be accompanied by a crew on board.

This will be to make sure that everything goes according to plan and to perform different kinds of supporting tasks, like refilling the seed tanks, controlling the navigation through the forest, deciding on which trees can be harvested etc.

In this manner, the OBRIST C-Transformer could potentially open new job possibilities.

Central supervising stations will also monitor and control the working process of the OBRIST C-Transformer so that in case of any unexpected situations, intervention can be executed immediately.


055. Will jobs be created by the OBRIST C-Transformer?

A lot of new job possibilities could potentially open up with the OBRIST C-Transformer project.

People would be needed in fields of technical development of machines, industrial production, as well as in the direct operation of the OBRIST C-Transformer.

These are just examples. The list is long and will keep expanding. Please contact us if you have any valuable knowledge or input to share. We would love to hear from you.

056. What would be the economical advantages for a country providing woodland for the OBRIST C-Transformer to process?

Regions providing woodland could benefit greatly from the OBRIST C-Transformer. Key advantages would include economically low regions to possibly generate new business and job opportunities and the enhancement of infertile soils as well as the renaturation of areas with monocultures or wastelands.

057. How will the OBRIST C-Transformer receive replenishment? (Seedlings, seeds or similar)

Ideally the seeds of the trees present on site will be used directly and planted into the ground.

In addition to this, an optimized seed mixture according to the local vegetation and with the intention of supporting biodiversity, will be on board of the OBRIST C-Transformer and worked into the fresh coal-enriched soil.

If the seed supply is coming to an end, a unique kind of hot air balloon will deliver new seeds.

These hot air balloons will provide a very climate friendly way of transport.


058. What happens if the OBRIST C-Transformer becomes defective?

In order to prevent possible defects, the machines will be designed for maximum reliability. Also, a special focus will be laid on preventative maintenance. However, should a defect present itself, repairs could be carried out immediately by the accompanying crew on board.


059. Why will the OBRIST C-Transformer be so big?

There are a few reasons for this: For one, the OBRIST C-Transformer will include several different machines for processing the forest and processing the wood. These must not be too small, since otherwise, the necessary quantities of wood cannot be processed quickly enough. Furthermore, by the design philosophy of working as autonomously as possible, a sufficiently large seed storage could be crucial for the time that the OBRIST C-Transformer can bridge without human assistance.

In addition, the size will make it possible to re-enact a stationary factory which will ensure the greatest possible efficiency.

060. How will the decision of where the OBRIST C-Transformer is used, be made?

This question is still to be answered with upcoming research.

For now, we know that before a selection of an area can be made, this certain area will need to be examined according to its terrain, vegetation, size etc.

In general, the OBRIST C-Transformer could be used in any forest that has a viable size and provides a workable terrain. These details are flexible given that smaller machines could be built for smaller areas and the C-Transformer will be designed to handle relatively rough terrain.

061. Which criteria will determine if and where the OBRIST C-Transformer will be used?

A complex set of criteria will have to be taken into consideration when deciding where the OBRIST C-Transformer will be operating.

The basic criteria will be the ecological situation of the area. First of all, climate, terrain, soil quality, productivity of the forest etc. have to be suitable.

Further on, additional criteria like the clarification of property rights and existing and ongoing land usage also have to be examined.

062. What continents will be most suitable for a collaboration with the OCT?

Initially, all continents are candidates for the OBRIST C-Transformer’s operation. In further phases, experts from various scientific fields will be involved to detect the best regions for processing. 

063. Which areas will be specifically suitable for usage of the OBRIST C-Transformer?

The OBRIST C-Transformer will be best used in areas of degraded landscapes in order to rebuild and create healthy natural forests where the balance has been lost.

It could also be used to transform areas of monoculture like palm oil plantations into thriving permaculture.

Healthy and well balanced existing ecosystems should not be touched.

Still, accurate scientific analyses will have to be made here to identify the forests on our planets which could be suitable regarding their terrain, climate etc. Of course, land usage and property rights also have to be respected.

Do you hold some knowledge that could be helpful for us? Do you have an idea? Please share it with us. We appreciate any support.

064. Could the OBRIST C-Transformer be useful in areas of monoculture?

Yes, the OBRIST C-Transformer could help to turn areas of monoculture into thriving areas of permaculture. Where biodiversity has been lost, it could recreate it by planting new species of trees and at the same time charring the old ones to produce biochar which then would be put into the soil. 

The coal-enriched soil improves soil fertility and therefore would support the growth of the new vegetation in those areas.

065. How many surfaces of the world will have to be processed by the OBRIST C-Transformer in order to make up for current annual transport emissions?

Annually, an area that is approximately the size of the US state of Wisconsin would have to be processed by the OBRIST C-Transformer to compensate for the current annual transport emissions. With regard to a processing cycle of 40-50 years, there are generally sufficient forest areas on the earth.

066. What amount of surface area will the OBRIST C-Transformer be able to work per day?

Every day, the OBRIST C-Transformer will work at a speed of 0.056 mph according to current plans, processing approximately 16 acres of woodland, which corresponds to approximately 9 soccer fields or 12 American football fields. Approximately 600 tons of carbon will be stored per day.


067. How much carbon will be bound per hectare?

This obviously depends on multiple factors such as climate, soil, water etc.

Nevertheless, if we take an example of an average forest we can assume about 380 cords of wood per hectare of forest, which means that approximately 100 tons of carbon per hectare of worked forest will be stored in one pass of the OBRIST C-Transformer. Since the OBRIST C-Transformer is currently planned to work about 16 acres per day, it could compensate the daily emissions of about 180,000 cars.

068. What is the average time period expected until climate change can be stopped?

At this point, the needed time span to stop climate change cannot be estimated since there are too many variables. It is highly dependent on the amount of global CO2 emissions, since a global net CO2 reduction cannot be achieved without major emission reductions. Nevertheless, the OBRIST C-Transformer would provide an opportunity to effectively extract CO2 from the atmosphere and compensate for the emissions we are to blame for.

It is important that together with the OBRIST C-Transformer, we reduce our global annual CO2 emissions and also focus on the usage and development of renewable energy resources. 

069. Will we get global CO2 equilibration only using the OBRIST C-Transformer?

No. The OBRIST C-Transformer will be a supporting technology that could be able to compensate a fair amount of CO2 emissions, but global CO2 equilibration can only be reached if the amount of global CO2 emissions is cut down significantly.

Our concept could provide a tool to decelerate climate change, therefore helping humanity on its way to global CO2 equilibration. Furthermore, as a concept that is effectively CO2-reducing, it could provide a chance to compensate past CO2 emissions, given that the amount of CO2 emissions at that point will be lower than the amount of compensations by the OBRIST C-Transformer.

070. How much land will have to be processed by the OCT until climate change could be reversed?

Depending on worldwide CO2 emissions, the area required to be processed by the OBRIST C-Transformer could be estimated.

There are however additional factors like climate and utilized tree species that need to be taken into account in order to make these estimations more accurate. Since the net CO2 emissions are also highly dependent on global CO2 emissions (which are hard to estimate for the future), there are currently no accurate estimations at this point in time.

Further consulting with our scientists and other experts will help us to ascertain this information.

071. How will the OBRIST C-Transformer get to its working destination?

All components of the OBRIST C-Transformer will be designed to fit into standard cargo containers to avoid any additional complexity of shipment. The final assembly will be done right at the site where the machine is operating.

During production, a special emphasis will be on preferably local production to minimize additional transportation needs.

072. Will the assembly of the C-Transformer take place in the forest?


All components of the OBRIST C-Transformer will be designed to fit into standard cargo containers to avoid any additional complexity of shipment. The final assembly will be done right at the site where the machine is operating. The location for the final assembly will be decided at the same time as the starting point for the process.

During production, a special emphasis will be on preferably local production to minimize additional transportation needs.

The OBRIST C-Transformer will be designed to be as nature-preserving as possible so that we can protect the prevailing flora and fauna, as well as to limit the amount of disturbance to the local wildlife. This is a top priority and because of this, much consideration and planning will go into our chosen areas to process. We want to work closely together with permaculture experts, scientists and you to ensure that the habitat for our animals will always be retained. 

Do you have a idea? Is there something you can suggest in this area? Please let us know! We value your input.

073. Where will the OBRIST C-Transformer start? In the middle of the forest or at the beginning?

The starting point for the OBRIST C-Transformer will be chosen according to location, possibly depending on environmental/biodiversity/terrain factors. From the starting point, the C-Transformer will follow a spiral-shaped route, always leaving untouched forest between the individual processing strips. This is to ensure that the neighboring forest already will have had time to grow and thus will be able to protect the newly planted forest and its animals.

074. How will we make sure that biodiversity and the habitat for animals are preserved?

Throughout the whole working process of the OBRIST C-Transformer it will always be ensured that an undisturbed living space for animals will be present. The protection of animals and biodiversity are important considerations when choosing a route through the forest. In order to ensure this protection, the OBRIST C-Transformer will follow a spiral route with a total of 6 working lanes. Driving in and out of the spiral 3 times per round, a processing cycle will have a length of about 45 years. This will ensure the availability of at least 15-year-old neighboring forests providing an ongoing living space for animals and time and space for biodiversity to continue to grow. The cycle length is chosen for the optimum cutting time in terms of storing/efficiency.

The use of 6 working lanes will make sure that the OBRIST C-Transformer will drive only once on each area per cycle, so animals and vegetation will have a stable environment for at least 15 years.

075. What will happen to the existing flora and fauna?

In order to protect the prevailing flora and fauna as much as possible, the OBRIST C-Transformer is designed to be as nature-preserving as possible.

It is not intended to process healthy and functioning ecosystems and forests. Instead, the OBRIST C-Transformer will help create new biodiverse ecosystems where the balance has previously been lost. 

The C-Transformer will be programed to move in a spiral route, leaving forests in between the working areas untouched. In this manner, it is ensured that habitats for animals will always be preserved.


076. What will happen to animals in the workspace of the OBRIST C-Transformer?

We work closely together with permaculture experts and scientists who help us make sure that the natural balance of the environment will not get destroyed.

In addition to this, the OBRIST C-Transformer will be navigating through the forest on a thrice-conducted spiral route. This means every area will only be processed once every 45 years. The rest of the forest will remain untouched and therefore provide a continuous living space for our animals.

Furthermore, the OBRIST C-Transformer will be moving forward at a steady, but very slow pace (about 0.056 mph) in order to be as nature-preserving as possible.

077. When will the animals once again have a new habitat where they can settle?

Because the forest will be worked on a specially designed spiral route, there will always be grown forests near processed areas, so it will be made sure that animals won't lose their habitat. Every area will be processed only once every 45 years.

By doing so, transformed forest areas will always be able to provide a continuous living space for animals.

078. How long will animals be able to live in their new space before the machine returns?

The path of each OBRIST C-Transformer will be laid out so that animals will have at least 15 years in their new habitat and each row of forest will have about 45 years to grow before the C-Transformer will return. This also means that by the time the machine returns, there will be forest area near it which will be at least 15 years old and will be able to provide shelter for animals again.

079. Will the OBRIST C-Transformer be loud and will it affect other animal habitats besides its application areas?

We want to develop the OBRIST C-Transformer to be as quiet as possible. It will be a machine designed to work with nature and therefore it needs to be as harmonic with the environment as possible.

Most of the tools and machines of the OBRIST C-Transformer will be operated electrically to keep the noise level low.

The pyrolysis process is the only process that will not be operated electrically, but it will take place in a sound isolated chamber within the OBRIST C-Transformer in order to reduce direct noises.

Obviously there will be sounds that we cannot influence, most likely the cutting and chipping of wood as well as cracking of branches when old trees get harvested.


We are still fine-tuning this together with scientists and professionals. As the OBRIST C-Transformer is a machine that aims to give back to nature, we want to construct it as nature-friendly as possible. Do you have any ideas or some constructive input? Please share your knowledge. The planet needs you. We need you.

080. Will the OBRIST C-Transformer work day and night?

The OBRIST C-Transformer is thought and planned to be working in a continuous process, 24 hours a day. If, however, research shows that the uninterrupted operation causes ecological harm, especially to animals, a night break for the machine will be considered. We are collaborating with experts and scientists in the fields of animal protection and ecology in order to further investigate this.

081. How will it be ensured that the OBRIST C-Transformer will not ignite any forest fires?

The charring process will be happening inside the machine, so the danger of leaking sparks or fire can be eliminated. Other operating processes such as pyrolysis, combustion, etc. are known and proven to be reliable, but will also happen in insulated chambers to exclude any chances of igniting wood fires. The resulting char will then be cooled down to a safe temperature before it will be worked into the soil. The water produced will also be added to the soil, while branches and leaves which are left behind will be finely milled as well to give further protection. Technically there won't be any danger or risk of the OBRIST C-Transformer igniting any forest fires.


082. How will the collected money be used?

The collected money will primarily be used to ensure further development of the C-Transformer concept. The more money we collect, the more things we can research and develop. 

In a first phase, core topics such as the pyrolysis process, storage potentials and the size of the processes and machines are precisely examined.

Later phases include the series development of the OBRIST C-Transformer and involve experts and universities worldwide for more advanced technical developments as well as research on essential processes in the system.

The development goal for the year 2025 is three functioning prototypes, which are used and tested worldwide, as well as the full start of the worldwide process from 2025 until 2050.

083. What will be the development costs of the OBRIST C-Transformers?

The entire development of the OBRIST C-Transformer, including the production of three prototypes, is currently estimated at approximately 1 billion dollars.

084. What is the timetable for the OBRIST C-Transformer?

What happens when:

085. Which topics or problems must be resolved before the OBRIST C-Transformer is built?

The main focus of the continuous development of the OBRIST C-Transformer will be the optimization of the produced biochar regarding carbon storage potential, long-term stability and soil improvement.

Another focus is the prevention of soil compression and the optimization of the weight distribution of the machine.

We will also investigate into further development of the C-Transformer and the interplay of its technologies in order to determine and improve the efficiency of the process.

086. What can I do to contribute to the development?

Contributions to this project are possible in multiple ways, not only by financial support. Getting the word out about the campaign and promoting it to generate attention to our problems and solutions is a key factor to becoming part of possibly the greatest crowdfunding campaign ever. Further, motivated people are always welcome to support us with their passion and ideas for design and development of the OBRIST C-Transformer.

We are looking forward to hearing from you. Please share your knowledge and your ideas. Any support is appreciated.

087. What will the production of an OBRIST C-Transformer cost?

These costs are not easy to estimate yet, but the goal for the production cost of a single C-Transformer is about 200 million dollars.

088. Will the production of the OBRIST C-Transformer be eco-friendly?

The big goal here will be that power supplies for the OBRIST C-Transformer's production sites will come from renewable energies exclusively. 

Optimized locations for the production sites to minimize necessary transport will also be a key consideration. We want to stay as local as possible in order to achieve that. 

089. Will the production of the OBRIST C-Transformer be CO2 neutral?

For the production of the OBRIST C-Transformer, emphasis will be put on environmentally friendly production. Our C-Transformer production sites will run on renewable energies. Also, we want to minimize any form of transportation by optimizing the locations of the production sites and staying as local as possible.

At this stage of the project no decisions concerning manufacturing processes or methods have been made yet.

This is yet to come. If you have constructive input for us, please don't hesitate to share it.

090. What will be the cost of running the OBRIST C-Transformers?

Since the OBRIST C-Transformer will be operating completely self-sufficiently, running energy costs are eliminated.

Additional running costs (crew labor, seed refills and possible repairs) will be financed from a portion of the revenues from the CO2 certificates.

091. Which business model will be in the background?

The OBRIST C-Transformer’s economic base will be CO2 certificates, which will be used to compensate for the CO2 emissions by directly financing the OBRIST C-Transformer in production and operation.

092. What are CO2 certificates?

CO2 certificates are theoretical equivalents to CO2 reductions and are initially issued by a governing body to net CO2 reducing institutions like, for example, tree farms.

These institutions can then sell these certificates to net CO2 emitting institutions such as companies, whom cannot meet their required CO2 balance, for financial profit, while the buyer's CO2 balance can benefit from compensations like these.

093. Why does a renowned company like OBRIST need crowdfunding?

The whole concept will be aiming to provide a worldwide solution for a worldwide problem. This is not some small idea. It is very big and the entire development is impossible to finance by OBRIST itself. 

It will need worldwide nations, experts, scientists, industries etc. to come together. Really, it aims to unite the world in order to realize this project. With this, it could also possibly create new ground for job possibilities and science fields to grow. 

Apart from the financial support needed, the goal of the crowdfunding project is to attract attention, to spread the word and to gain the support of as many people as possible. A worldwide collaboration is needed in order to develop and realize the OBRIST C-Transformer.

We can’t miss this chance. The chance to turn climate change around. The chance to really do something for our planet. The chance to save the future of our children and grandchildren. 

It needs every single one of you. 



094. Why does it make sense for each and every one of us to fund?

Why does it make sense to save our planet? Do you want to continue to live here? Would you like to see your children and grandchildren have a thriving future?

We want to make it clear that this is not some sort of business crowd-catching program. This is serious. We have destroyed the balance of our planet and it needs our help. We need help.

We have developed the idea and the concept of the OBRIST C-Transformer which can, if we all stick together, stop climate change and even turn it around.

It can be a worldwide solution for our common worldwide problem. We all share this problem. It concerns us all.

The OBRIST C-Transformer can help, but only if we manage to finance it and make this concept a reality. For this, it needs every single one of you.

095. How do I become a Transformer myself?

Very easy – support us!

Support us by joining our crowdfunding campaign on

Every dollar counts. Only if we stick together we can change our future.

Other than that, please help us spread the word. Share our page. Tell your friends about it. We want to raise awareness because climate change concerns us all.

You are not only helping us, but also taking action for your own future. Take responsibility. Change your destiny now.

096. How can I support financially without Indiegogo?

There is the possibility of becoming a direct partner of the project and the company. We’re happy to discuss further details on a case-by-case basis.

097. Can I become an investor?

Yes, there is the possibility of becoming an official investor to benefit from our developments. We’re happy to discuss further details on a case-by-case basis.

Contact us if you see yourself as a possible investor.


098. Who stands behind the whole idea?

Who are we? Frank Obrist, Nickole Lewis, Chris Meusburger and a bunch of other people all working together at OBRIST Transformer Inc. (Dover, Delaware) and OBRIST Engineering (Lustenau, Austria). Our companies have been focused on emission avoidance and reduction technologies for 20 years. During the past two decades the OBRIST group emerged as the technology leader in mobile applications based on the natural refrigerant R744. With the implementation of OBRIST compressor technologies, the first eco-friendly air conditioning was implemented in the Mercedes S-Class mass production.

The idea of the OBRIST C-Transformer was born by Frank Obrist, founder of the OBRIST group together with Robert Schlögl, the director at the Fritz Haber institute of the Max Planck society. Discussing the possibility to use biomass as fuel, Frank had the flash of wit to support forests in reducing carbon and to provide a solution that can fix a problem generated over many generations - climate change.

Nickole Lewis from the US, working as an international project manager at OBRIST Technologies and calling herself a tree-hugger and pro-earth, was intrigued by the idea of creating a machine that could give something back to Mother Nature instead of exploiting her and simultaneously doing something against climate change. She joined the development and sided with Chris Meusburger, a technical mathematician in his early twenties. Chris likes down-to-earth solutions and is focused on using approved technologies to implement the OBRIST C-Transformer. A machine that will use already existing solutions to create a chance that nobody thought was possible.

099. Who is OBRIST?

The OBRIST group is an Austrian-based company containing multiple divisions (OBRIST Engineering, OBRIST Technologies Inc., OBRIST Powertrain, OBRIST Transformer Inc.) which work closely together specializing in emission avoidance and reduction technologies as well as thermal management solutions.

Our Engineering division, founded in Austria in 1996, has developed a range of industrial and mobile compressors, scroll expanders and heat pumps for various application areas. Our Technologies division, founded in California in 2009, provides engineering services to OBRIST's American clients on the West Coast and in Michigan. Our Powertrain division, founded in Austria in 2011, focuses on the development of the HyperHybrid technologies.

We define, with all our products, international benchmarks for performance, energy-efficiency and operating costs which are all designed according to the highest safety requirements.

Visit our other sites for more information. OBRIST Powertrain and OBRIST Engineering.