Australian carbon sequestration technology on display in Bali

By Sustainability Matters Staff
Tuesday, 11 December, 2007


Best Energies will have its technology on display at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali.

The locally developed Best slow pyrolysis technology has been hailed by leading environmentalist Tim Flannery as one of the most important available for stabilising the world’s climate, and recently chosen by the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) as the winner of their major World Environment Day Awards category ‘Meeting the Greenhouse Challenge’.

The technology will be represented at a side exhibit in conjunction with representatives from the UNAA who will be promoting the award winners.

Adriana Downie, who is in Bali representing Best Energies, said the commercial uptake of the Best pyrolysis technology will result in significant carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas mitigation.

“Adoption of the technology will deliver long-term sustainability benefits of increased soil health and therefore agricultural productivity while providing significant carbon sequestration and Greenhouse gas mitigation. It is important that the incoming Australian government realise that there are locally developed technologies that successfully combat climate change. Australia should be leading the world in a lot of these areas,” Downie said.

The slow pyrolysis technology developed by the company is particularly exciting because it not only produces a renewable energy to displace the use of fossil fuel, but it also produces a very stable form of solid carbon which can be sequestered over the long term in soils.

This process has been developed by the company with support from the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change and involves heating green waste or other biomass without oxygen to generate renewable energy and Agrichar.

Downie said once the high carbon char product, Agrichar, is added as an amendment to agricultural soils, some of the most remarkable and promising benefits of this technology become apparent. Experiments conducted by the NSW Department of Primary Industries have already demonstrated that the char product can improve several soil health indicators as well as increase crop yields and productivity.

NSW DPI research scientist Dr Lukas Van Zwieten has found that when applied at 10 t/ha, the biomass of wheat was tripled and of soybeans was more than doubled.

Van Zwieten said the agrichar product also decreases emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas nitrous oxide from soils and increases the efficiency of nitrogen fertilisers. NSW Primary Industries Minister, Ian Macdonald said this new process offers hope for using soils as a carbon ‘sink’.

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