SOLER Group is one of the leaders in renewable carbon production, offering a unique, cutting-edge technological solution for achieving climate neutrality. 

Interview with Anne-Mette Soler-My, Marketing & Communication Director at SOLER Group.

Easy Engineering: A brief description of the company and its activities.

Anne-Mette Soler-My: Founded in 1993, we are a French family business based on a circular economic model, positive in energy and respectful of the environment.

Thanks to our own patented technology, which is operational since 2012, the Group’s biorefineries transform wood residues – from sustainably managed forests located near the production sites – into charcoal, biocarbon, biochar, and green energies. 

E.E: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

A.M.S.M: The SOLER Group develops, sets up, and operates a unique, modular, and proprietary technology. In our process, we valorize wood residues from sustainably managed forests located near the production sites into high environmental added value products: renewable carbon and green energies. 

We offer our ecoresponsible products to several sectors, from hard-to-abate industries to agriculture. As an alternative to fossil coal, SOLER renewable carbon represents an effective solution for reducing the carbon footprint of these industries, which are major emitters of CO2 on a global scale. The SOLER Group also generates and supplies green electricity for the consumption of around 20,000 households. 

With our innovative solutions, we build a bridge between sustainably managed forests and a low carbon economy.

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

A.M.S.M: The SOLER Group produces renewable carbon and green energies since more than ten years. Formerly used for barbecue cooking and green electricity, SOLER sustainable products reply to new applications. From solutions to decarbonate hard-to-abate industries, to soil amendment in agriculture… SOLER biocarbon and biochar are now renewable solutions for reducing greenhouse gases emissions in several sectors. 

We are supplying industries with SOLER renewable carbon in their process. We are also working with local farmers and winegrowers on biochar application to improve the quality of their soil. Besides, we transform our green energies, for example, for advanced biofuels or products for green chemistry. 

We are convinced that we can do even more with our products… That is why constantly invest in R&D with our inhouse designers to develop new renewable solutions. 

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

A.M.S.M: Today, we are the French leader in the production of responsible charcoal for barbecue cooking. The 30th anniversary of our adventure marks a new ambition for the Group: supplying the industry in its effort to become carbon neutral. 

Thanks to our cutting-edge technology, we can propose various grain sizes and qualities. SOLER renewable carbon and green energies can be used for several applications: 

  • Biocarbon is a key material for reducing the carbon footprint of critical materials of hard-to-abate industries (such as silicon, steel, and ferro-alloys). 
  • Biochar is a substitute for fossil coal into building materials such as cement. It can also be used to improve agricultural soils by increasing crop productivity and drought resistance while creating permanent carbon sinks. 
  • Renawable syngases are transformed and valorized into green energies (electricity and heat). The SOLER team also works on advanced biofuels or products for green chemistry.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

A.M.S.M: The decarbonation market is at the beginning of its history. Most of the transformation plans are focused on a 2030, or even 2050, objective. Several industries are currently testing new solutions – such as SOLER renewable carbon – to transform their process into a green production. By producing nature-based carbon from sustainable forests for industrial uses, the SOLER Group paves the way towards new sustainable value chains that are beneficial to both nature and industry.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

A.M.S.M: Silicon is a great example of biocarbon market trends. Silicon is a source material in several electronic devices, such as batteries, automotive or solar photovoltaic panels. As key element for the energy transition, silicon production has known a +240% growth since 2000. Composed by several fossil inputs, this material is a big CO2 emitter.  

Today, silicon producers wish to transform their process into a green production. SOLER biocarbon is one of the solutions: we can substitute fossil carbon by biocarbon in the process. The combined use of sustainable biocarbon and renewable electricity allows to reduce the GHG footprint of silicon production by a factor of 5. At the end, the world’s annual need for biocarbon is estimated at several million tons per year.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

A.M.S.M: All our products are innovative. In fact, our major product, renewable carbon, might be the most game-changing product we marketed.

Traditionally known as a fuel for barbecue cooking, this product has now new applications. Produced from sustainable sources, into an environmentally friendly process, biocarbon is a renewable carbon. It thus can be used as a substitute for fossil carbon. This is a very new step in its history! 

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023?

A.M.S.M: In 2023, the SOLER Group will continue to be the leader in the barbecue charcoal market in France. In the industry applications, we plan to extend our production of biocarbon and biochar we will offer to the decarbonation market in Europe. For the future, we aim to reduce GHG emissions in several economic sectors, by offering an innovative solution for sustainable carbon management, while protecting and developing forest resources, both in France and internationally.