You are one of 7.5 billion people on this planet that are being impacted by conditions that are spiraling out of control. You and multiple generations of your family will be affected by actions taken today.
Determine your destiny. Now.
The OBRIST C-Transformer is a machine concept that will combine different technologies to naturally balance out the worldwide CO2 cycle. It will char old tree trunks and store the carbon in the ground, improving soil fertility. The old branches will become a protective covering to the new seeds that will be simultaneously planted during the process.
The OBRIST C-Transformer will harvest old grown trees and transform them into biochar. By working this biochar into the ground together with fresh tree seeds, a great basis for immediate reforestation will be created. Young trees will not be affected and would continue to grow unhindered.
All of this will happen autonomously.
We humans have produced CO2 that cannot be bound only by nature itself. Through various forms of transportation and industries, we have caused an extremely high level of CO2 emissions. We have destroyed the balance.
The OBRIST C-Transformer will assist nature with what it cannot manage by itself anymore.
The OBRIST C-Transformer will use natural resources exclusively to not only stop climate change, but also to create a chance to turn it around. It will utilize the natural process of the trees to pull CO2 from the air. All technologies necessary already exist and only have to be optimized for the OBRIST C-Transformer.
Without the OBRIST C-Transformer our forests are close to CO2 neutral. This means they bind and release almost similar amounts of carbon during their life span. With the help of the OBRIST C-Transformer they will be revitalized and able to reduce CO2 from the atmosphere.
By planting new trees the OBRIST C-Transformer will focus on constructing young, healthy and biodiverse mixed forests. These mixed forests can support a natural diversity of species that naturally sustain themselves. In this manner, the OCT can help to transform areas of monoculture into thriving permaculture.
The newly introduced charcoal in the ground will give the soil its darker color. Working like a sponge, the soil stores nutrients and water better than standard unenriched soil. This will provide a perfect fertile base for new life to grow.
Our idea could open the door to a wide range of new job possibilities as well as additional fields of research for science sectors worldwide. We are looking at a new concept of bioengineering with such incredible potential that we cannot even grasp its full scope at this point in time.
Worldwide solutions need worldwide actions. The OBRIST C-Transformer could have the ability to stop and reverse climate change, but it cannot do that by itself. We also need to reduce our CO2 emissions. We need to transition to long-term sustainable energy resources and we need to accelerate our reforestation efforts immediately.
Young trees need carbon to grow. They pull it out of the air and store it in their trunks. When they are old and die, they release it again. This process makes the life span of a tree almost carbon neutral. Overall, no cleansing has occurred.
That is why we need the OBRIST C-Transformer.
“Carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is necessary for plants and trees to grow. Forests play a specific and important role in the global carbon cycle by absorbing carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, storing carbon above and below ground, and producing oxygen as a by-product of photosynthesis”
United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service
Our trees remove CO2 from the atmosphere every day. They have been splitting CO2 into oxygen and carbon for millions of years. Oxygen gets released back into the atmosphere and gives us clean air to breathe, while carbon gets stored in the trunk. However, the full lifespan of a tree is almost CO2 neutral.
But, let’s start from the beginning.
Imagine a young tree as if it were a human child. The first few years of life comprise the fastest rates of growth and the biggest changes. Never again in the life of a human being nor in that of a tree will this much growth happen. Carbon is the energy source for trees. The young ones consume a lot. This is how they clean out a huge amount of CO2 from the atmosphere.
Once a human being has reached the size of a young adult it still keeps growing, but at a slower rate than during its youth. It’s the same with trees. They still grow but consume much less carbon than before. Therefore the carbon sequestration, a process where CO2 is pulled from the atmosphere and stored for a long period of time, from a young tree is much higher than from a grown tree.
When trees die they return their stored carbon back into the atmosphere. This is what makes them almost CO2 neutral. If we want to succeed in cleansing CO2 from the air we need to minimize exactly that.
The OBRIST C-Transformer could help us.
Before a tree dies and releases its carbon into the atmosphere, the OBRIST C-Transformer will turn its trunk into biochar and introduce it into the forest ground. In this manner, the carbon that has been stored inside the tree will improve soil fertility and the release of carbon back into our atmosphere is prevented.
This is how the OBRIST C-Transformer could change an almost CO2 neutral forest into a CO2 reducing forest.
Navigating through the forest, the OBRIST C-Transformer will char trunks of old trees and dig the biochar into the forest soil, binding its carbon. This very fertile soil will become the nursery for fresh tree seeds so that new vegetation can immediately start to grow.
The OBRIST C-Transformer.
Creating fertile soil. Planting new trees. Renewing our forests.
The transplanting process of a young tree will happen as gently as possible and is an already used and proven technology. The tree will be excavated intact with all its roots and surrounding soil, to then be inserted into the forest ground behind the machine.
Special harvesters will be used for cutting the trees. When a tree is deemed ready to be cut, it will be removed including its roots. 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 a home for animals, sun screen for the soil and a barrier to prevent erosion from rain and wind.
The wood from the harvested old trees will get charred, finely ground and worked into the forest soil. The biochar in the soil will be able to store more nutrients and water, rendering it much more fertile than standard soil. Tree seeds will be added as well, which will immediately start the reforestation process.
We have given a lot of thought on how best to take care of forests and their inhabitants.
We work with nature and not against it. We want to create mixed forests with a special focus on the diversity of species and provide a natural habitat for animals. Thereby nature can do its job with minimal human interference.
We work closely together with permaculture experts and scientists who continuously make sure that the natural balance of the environment is maintained. We will also use a thrice-conducted spiral route for the OBRIST C-Transformer that will ensure every area will only be prepared and processed once every 45 years.
The spiral design of the route will enable an ongoing existing environment for animals and plants. Every area will be slowly and carefully driven through. Nonetheless we are still fine-tuning the process. Some issues still need to be resolved.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our first phase will be to examine core processes of the OBRIST C-Transformer like pyrolysis, storage potentials, the scope of the processes and the size of the machine needed. We then plan to link worldwide with scientists and universities for the development phase. Our tentative goal is series production by 2025.