Blenheim-based company Carbonscape — one of only five companies to make the shortlist in the Financial Times global Climate Change Challenge — makes charcoal from biomass for the sequestration of carbon using industrial microwaves. According to Carbonscape’s webpage “Each industrial-scale unit converts 40–50 per cent of wood debris into charcoal; one tonne of carbon dioxide can be fixed as charcoal per day. By converting carbon in organic material to charcoal, it can be then put into the ground where it does the most good.” The New Republic writes, that “it’s possible to create charcoal by heating the biomass in conventional ovens, but using microwaves improves the efficiency of the process, allowing up to 50 percent of the starting biomass to be converted to charcoal.” Carbsonscape director Vicki Buck says all of New Zealand needs to get behind the company with their votes to be in with a chance of winning. “If we manage to bring home the prize for New Zealand it will cap off a fast-paced year for Carbonscape,” Buck says. Climate Change Challenge winner will be announced in April.