The Ithaka Institute is a research network of independent institutes in Germany, Switzerland, Nepal, and the USA developing climate-positive solutions in land management, urban design, resource efficiency, and material design. The Institute pioneered biochar technology, setting up the first industrial biochar-producing facility in Europe (at Swiss Biochar GmbH) and developing research pyrolysis units and open-source farm-scale pyrolysis systems (Kon-Tiki). Ithaka created the European Biochar Certificate and developed the first carbon sink (C-sink) certification standards for negative emission technologies such as pyrogenic carbon, enhanced weathering, carbon materials, and forestry.
The non-profit Ithaka Foundation developed the method of organic biochar-based fertilization using biochar as a slow-release nutrient carrier in combination with high-temperature impregnation of liquid manure and injecting the fertilizing substrate into the root zone of crops. In Europe and Asia, more than 200 field trials with more than 25 crops were set up by the Institute to test and further develop the method delivering published evidence that organic biochar-based fertilizer may obtain equal or better fertilizer efficiency than conventional chemical fertilizer.
Over the past 15 years, Ithaka has developed a range of biochar and NanoCarbon products and prototypes for industries such as building, textiles, paper, and composites, including radiative shielding bricks, cardboards for fruit storage, and sports gear.
Ithaka actively shares its findings, not only in scientific journals but also with the general public, through educational programs, expert consultations, various publications, and media channels. With its C-Sink Sports initiative, Ithaka demonstrates how material innovation, peak performance, and climate-positive action can mutually reinforce each other, showcasing an innovative blend of technological advancement and environmental responsibility.
More information about Ithaka and its projects can be found on the following websites: