Biochar production and use is relatively unknown in Western Australian farming systems however, as a by-product of a bioenergy process, should be better understood. Biochar has a range of uses, can sequester carbon and has beneficial traits when used in soils.
Nutrients contained in organic materials used to produce bioenergy, may be able to be retained in the biochar and returned to the soil. Additionally, different feedstocks and conversion process’s react differently depending on soil type and we are yet to understand this area.
This is why Energy Farmers and its partners are focusing on biochar production and it effects on agricultural systems. Read more below.
- Grower Groups Get Involved
In 2012 we teamed up with three grower groups Western Australia. Mingenew Irwin Group, Moora/Miling Pasture Improvment Group, North Stirling Pallinup Natural Resources and Energy Farmers Australia ran a series of trials to investigate the integration of biochar into the farming systems of Western Australia. The project investigated:
- Resource (crop residue) capture (including weed seed removal), transport and handling methods
- Biochar production; and application of biochar into soils
- Scientific based trails to determine yield response and carbon capture potential of biochar at varying fertiliser and biochar application rates.
- The quantity of CO2-e sequestered via application of biochar to agricultural soils
- Demonstrate that by incorporating biochar into their farming system, farmers can reduce synthetic fertiliser use while maintaining or improving yield
- Investigate the impact on the economics of the farming process, recognising that these methods will not be widely adopted unless farmers can realise a financial benefit.
- Development of a Life Cycle Assessment of the process that will quantify the GHG emission reductions that can be realised via incorporating biochar into the farming process.
Project update – Biochar in the ground in Western Australia click for pics.
- Energy Farmers Develop Western Austraia’s First Mobile Pyrolysis Kiln
Energy Farmers is pleased to announce the development of our first biochar kiln.
The kiln has been in the pipeline for well over a year, we have just finished construction and are in the process of commissioning the unit. We expect to have it operating in the the next couple of months.
We will use the unit to produce biochar for trial work and to demonstrate bioenergy technology to farmers, farmer groups and the wider community. This unit is mobile and will process approx. 200-300 kg/hour of feedstock, presently we are processing chicken litter and wheat straw.
For more information, pics and videos please visit our Mobile Biochar Kiln page.
- Buy Biochar
Energy Farmers has a supply of biochar available for sale. Please contact us to learn more.
Watch this space for updates or Contact us to learn more.