SACE, Aries Clean Technologies Team Up to Develop Carbon Catching Soil Blend

1,600 pounds of donated biochar to travel Friday, May 21, by Tesla-pulled trailer from Middle to East Tennessee

May 20, 2021
Contact: Amy Rawe, SACE, 865-235-1448, [email protected]; Nancy Cooper, Aries, 615-616-8235, [email protected]

Knoxville and Franklin, TN – The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) has teamed up with Aries Clean Technologies to develop Carbon Catcher, a nutrient-rich soil blend that contributes to a net withdrawal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Aries GREEN® Biochar provides a significant opportunity for carbon sequestration, benefiting the environment as well as soil and plant health.

Recognizing that SACE’s mission focuses on reducing carbon emissions through clean energy sources, Aries has donated two supersacks, approximately 1,600 pounds, of their Aries GREEN® Biochar to SACE to research and develop soil mixtures for potential community use. 

Dr. Stephen A. Smith, SACE’s Executive Director, will transport the donated Biochar from Lebanon, Tennessee, to Knoxville on a flatbed trailer pulled by an all-electric Tesla Model X, in keeping with Aries’ dedication to environmentally friendly solutions and SACE’s Driving on Sunshine electric vehicle campaign.

  • There will be excellent opportunities for filming and photographing the colorfully wrapped Tesla pulling the trailered Biochar supersacks en route from Lebanon to Knoxville on Friday, May 21. Please reach out to the media contacts above for information on locations and times.

Biochar is a carbon-rich product that is left over when organic materials – such as woodchips or plant matter – are converted via gasification. The process cleanly captures carbon rather than releasing it into the atmosphere, where it would otherwise contribute to greenhouse gases that are accelerating climate change. Biochar can be used as an energy product or as a soil amendment, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has identified biochar as one of only a few negative-emissions technologies. 

Since 2016, Aries Clean Technologies has operated a plant in Lebanon, Tennessee, utilizing wood waste to generate electricity for a nearby wastewater treatment facility. The plant can annually produce 1,800 tons of consistently high-carbon biochar that has received certifications from both the USDA and the International Biochar Initiative

Greg Bafalis, Aries CEO, said, “With our clean technologies, we look forward to partnering with SACE to do our part in making the Earth cleaner and healthier. Together, we can explore sustainable carbon capturing soil amendment solutions for the betterment of our local communities.”

Dr. Stephen A. Smith, Executive Director of SACE and a member of the City of Knoxville’s Carbon Task Force, said, “We are grateful to Aries for their generous donation of Aries GREEN® Biochar, and we look forward to researching the best use of this carbon-capturing, nutrient-rich resource in soil blends for potential use in garden test plots throughout the city. We appreciate that Aries GREEN® is regionally sourced and produced at Aries’s gasification plant in Lebanon, Tennessee, and utilizes wood waste from crates that would otherwise fill local landfills.”

SACE intends to incorporate the Aries GREEN® Biochar as the foundational ingredient to be mixed with various other organic materials, including rock dust, worm castings, and regionally produced agricultural or food industry by-products. Resulting soil blends may ultimately be used in garden test plots throughout the city, and will be monitored by a research team of experienced farmers to determine optimum efficacy.


About the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Since 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has worked to promote responsible and equitable energy choices to ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at

About Aries Clean Technologies
Aries Clean Technologies, based in Franklin, Tennessee, develops, designs, and builds innovative proprietary fluidized bed and downdraft gasification systems and projects using its eight patents granted to date. Its projects provide for the sustainable conversion of biosolids and biomass, reduction of carbon emissions, and the production of clean thermal and electrical energy and beneficial Aries GREEN® Biochar or Bio-Fly-Ash™. Aries GREEN® Biochar is 96% biobased carbon. Learn more