Where are they now? – Andrew White

By: Andrew White, CEO of CHAR Technologies
Andrew White, CEO of CHAR Technologies

Q: Can you describe your current position and company?

A: CEO of CHAR Technologies.  CHAR is a leading cleantech development and environmental services company with proprietary high  temperature pyrolysis (HTP) technology that converts woody materials and organic waste into renewable natural gas (RNG), green hydrogen and biocarbon.

Q: How are you contributing to reaching Canada’s climate change and emission goals?

A: CHAR converts biomass (woody-waste and forestry by-products) into two products, renewable natural gas and metallurgical biocoal.  The renewable natural gas is used to offset fossil-based natural gas in the natural gas grid.  Metallurgical biocoal is used to replace fossil coal in heavy industrial uses, including steelmaking.  In these processes, solid carbon is used as not only a heat source, but also a reductant, a part of the chemical process.  Because of this, the process requires solid carbon, which can either be fossil coal or biocoal, and each tonne of biocoal used to replace fossil coal reduced GHG emissions by 3 tonnes.  CHAR has the ambition to have 2,000,000 GJ/yr of RNG contracted in the coming years, which would also produce 40,000 tonnes of biocoal.  The net GHG benefits of both outputs would be approximately 240,000 tones of GHG emissions reduction per year.

Q: How has being recognized early on in your journey as a Clean50 emerging leader affected your journey? 

A: Being recognized early on in my entrepreneurial journey as a Clean50 emerging leader had two key, and interrelated, benefits.  The networking opportunity that is accessible as a Clean50 recipient is fantastic, with some of the best cleantech and climate leaders in the Country – who all in turn have fantastic networks of their own!  This network accessibility really allows for more rapid deployment and advancement of cleantech as we can find others who are more specifically interested in our process (and likewise we can find people who have complementary processes to ours).  The climate issue is one which we all need to work together to address, and a critical aspect of that is knowing who else is working on solutions, and how the solutions can be collaboratively connected.

Q: Any upcoming exciting news that you would like to feature? What’s next? 


  1. CHAR has had some great news in the last 6 months, and things are really starting to move quickly!

(i) Support from the Natural Gas Innovation Fund to produce renewable natural gas using the High Temperature Pyrolysis system (2021-08-23)

“Toronto, Ontario – August 24, 2021 – CHAR Technologies Ltd (“CHAR”) (TSXV: YES) is pleased to announce the upgrading of CHAR’s operational high temperature pyrolysis facility to produce approximately 20,000 GJ/yr of renewable natural gas.”

For more information follow link:


(ii) A major project with Hitachi Zosen Inova in California, where CHAR is deploying the High Temperature Pyrolysis system to process the compost left over after the HZI anaerobic digestion system to produce biochar and green hydrogen (2021-07-23)

“TORONTO, July 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — CHAR Technologies Ltd. (“CHAR”) (TSXV: YES) announces a test project with Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI) to develop a high temperature pyrolysis to green hydrogen system at their existing San Luis Obispo (SLO) anaerobic digestion facility in California. Under the definitive agreement with HZI’s SLO operating company, CHAR’s high temperature pyrolysis system will process 18,000 tonnes per year of solid anaerobic digestate into 1,320 tonnes of green hydrogen per year, and 2,800 tonnes per year of biocarbon.”

For more information follow link:


(iii) A milestone order of 1,000 tonnes of CleanFyre (biocoal) to a major Canadian steel producer, to offset the use of coal in their blast furnaces (2021-03-17)

“TORONTO, March 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — CHAR Technologies Ltd. (“CHAR”) (TSXV: YES) is pleased to announce a purchase order from one of Canada’s largest steel producers for up to 1,000 tonnes of CHAR’s proprietary CleanFyre biocoal. This contract builds on CHAR’s previous successful pilot production run of 20 tonnes and is the next step in ongoing commercialization work. CleanFyre is a carbon-neutral, solid biofuel, made from various woody-biomasses and woodwastes and provides a low greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emission biocoal substitute to integrate into existing steelmaking processes.”

For more information follow link:


Q: Do you have any advice for young adults starting their sustainability careers? 

A: The two biggest pieces of advice are first, if you’re passionate about what you’re planning on doing, and the market is giving you strongly positive signals about what you’re planning on doing, then go for it, now.  There’s no point waiting around if it’s a great idea that you’re passionate about that can effect positive change.  The second is to grow your network as quickly and urgently as possible – meeting potential collaborators, potential investors, potential partners, potential clients, and people who can help connect you with some of these potential supports will be critical to moving things along faster.