WA: The bold new world of biochar
Shea, S. (2010). WA: The bold new world of Biochar. Australian Forest Grower, 33(1), 28-29.
Despite major advances in forest science over the past 30 years, it’s still not possible to fully capitalise on the comparative advantage that tree crops have – the ability of trees to capture solar energy very efficiently and store it. While most treegrowers and AFG members are fully fledged believers of the “wood is good” creed, frustratingly, timber does not travel well and it’s expensive to harvest and to use the whole tree. Even when trees are grown for woodchips, a significant proportion of the biomass produced by the miracle of photosynthesis is left on the ground to rot and eventually return as carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. We are also constrained from planting trees in many sites because the scale of planting is too small to be economic and the distance too far from processing sites.
But the move towards a carbon economy, together with the invention of a new pyrolysis technology, we believe holds the potential to overcome tree crops’ natural disadvantages and revolutionise forestry enterprises throughout regional Australia, as well as all other industries that produce waste as biomass. Breakthrough pyrolysis technology has been invented and patented by the Crucible Carbon Group Pty Ltd based in Newcastle, Australia. The process has low capital and operating costs and is clean, safe and very efficient.