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Start Up Fund Joensuu convinced of PUHI, a company producing biochar with pyrolysis, and will invest in the company


Start Up Fund Joensuu will invest EUR 100,000 in PUHI Oy from Liperi. The company uses pyrolysis technology to produce biochar from demolition wood and sees good prerequisites for its operations also internationally.

PUHI Oy, which produces biochar using pyrolysis technology, has collected a total of EUR 900,000 in funding from financiers. In addition to the EUR 100,000 invested by the Start Up Fund Joensuu, the founding members of the company fund the activities with EUR 300,000 and Business Finland with EUR 500,000. 

Liperi-based PUHI uses recycled demolition wood that meets the use requirements of the sector to produce biochar, which is utilised diversely in various uses. Biochar is one of the most cost-effective ways of long-term storage of carbon in the soil. Elis Hirvonen, CEO of PUHI, explains that the company's biochar is used, among other things, for soil improvement, stormwater filtration, feed additives and air filtration. PUHI already has letters of intent with customers who are committed to buying production for two years.

– The biochar will eventually end up in the ground, we will not sell it as an energy source, this is a strict requirement for us, even if there is demand. Our business model is to build international business with pyrolysis technology: we promote the circular economy and bind carbon for which there is demand, especially in this time, when the green transition is strongly under way, says Hirvonen.

Starting point in Finland, target in international markets

The first application of the funding received can be found in Karanoja, Hämeenlinna, where the company installs its machinery.

– The funding goes to purchasing a machine, modifying the machine and the hall, as well as starting production. We are adding our innovations to the machine: this ready off-the-shelf machine will change quite a lot by the time of production. Automation plays a major role, and the aim is to produce exactly the kind of biochar that is needed in the green transition and that customers need for their use.

PUHI Oy_Pyrolyysilaite_Purku- ja jatepuusta biohiilta_Business_Joensuu_Start_Up_rahasto_Joensuu

PURHA's pyrolysis technology produces biochar from recycled demolition wood.

PUHI has leased its premises in Hämeenlinna from Kiertokapula waste management company operating in thirteen municipalities. Hirvonen praises the excellent cooperation. The company's hometown Liperi also has a facility ready for starting production.

In addition to domestic business operations, PUHI already has its sights set abroad. Hirvonen reveals that there are two different locations ready in Germany, as well as a local technology partner, and also, the company's Swedish office will be established this year. 

– We are not afraid to go abroad, as the company has stable networks. The need for investments in the export of our technology to other countries is not huge, and there are other locations where we are wanted, Hirvonen adds.

Start Up Fund Joensuu has strong faith in the business model

PUHI’s decentralised biochar production concept enables the export of the operations around the world. In Finland, PUHI is one of two companies that have an environmental permit for biochar production. These factors, among others, led the Start Up Fund Joensuu to invest in the company. Kari Pulkkinen, the growth coach of Business Joensuu and manager of Start Up Fund Joensuu, is excited that the fund gets to participate in the development of PUHI’s business operations.

– We had a number of reasons for interest. The green transition and the circular economy are strong trends that offer plenty of opportunities for the future. PUHI combines both, explains Pulkkinen. Pulkkinen has strong faith and trust in the founders of PUHI Oy.

– The team has extremely convincing research data and expertise on biochar. PUHI has a strong vision that this type of business can work. The company's technology can also be duplicated in several places and its operations can be scaled, Pulkkinen says. 

CEO Hirvonen also emphasises that the PUHI team has plenty of both business and scientific thinking. Everybody is working for the same goal. 

– We are not reinventing the wheel, but we are modernising technology that has already existed in the 19th century. The team’s expertise is among the strongest in the Nordic countries. In addition to producing biochar, the team has background and experience in electronics, product development and plant construction, as well as production line and automation building. 
Pictures: PUHI Oy 


Elis Hirvonen
CEO, PUHI Oy, +46 70 774 7645

Kari Pulkkinen
Fund Manager & Growth Coach, Business Joensuu,+358 50 4068716 

PUHI - Down to Earth Climate Tech, a biochar and carbon removal company, is accelerating international business based on pyrolysis technology. By utilizing by-product raw materials, the company produces biochar, heat, and products based on the liquid fractions generated during pyrolysis, such as bio-oil and chemicals. The production of biochar is integrated into circular economy activities and various bioeconomy processes. PUHI also offers product development and research services related to biochar.

Start Up Fund Joensuu
Start Up Fund Joensuu helps start-up companies grow, employ and internationalise. The Fund obtains its capital from the City of Joensuu and private investors. The fund is managed by Joensuun Startup Kehitys Oy, a subsidiary of Business Joensuu. The fund's capital is € 2.5 million, and a typical investment is € 50,000–200,000. Together with Business Joensuu's Business Accelerator and internationalisation services, the Fund supports the domestic and international growth of its target companies. The Fund is an avenue for companies’ second phase funding round. While the Fund is not subject to any field-specific restrictions, its main focus is on companies that specialise in digitalisation, the forest bioeconomy, and materials and innovative technology. Target companies must operate in Joensuu, want to be located in Joensuu or have a connection with the Joensuu region at the operative activity level.

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