News

Australian scientists recognised at Mullum Bio-charfest

BIG HIT: John Sanderson from Earth Systems shows off some biochar at Mullumbimby’s Bio-charfest at the weekend.
BIG HIT: John Sanderson from Earth Systems shows off some biochar at Mullumbimby’s Bio-charfest at the weekend. Luke Mortimer

THE internationally-recognised innovation of Australian eco-scientists and researchers was highlighted at Mullumbimby's Bio-charfest at the weekend.

Industry experts on environmental issues offered presentations on topics ranging from biochar manufacture to hemp production, carbon farming and even 3D printed housing.

The well-attended festival also ramped up local interest in what's thought to be a world-first technology - the Charmaker Mobile Pyrolysis Plant, from Earth Systems.

Created by decomposing organic material at high temperatures in a process called pyrolysis, biochar benefits soil quality and farm yields, can be used to produce energy, acts as a carbon emissions sink and can be used as a building material, among a variety of other uses.

Earth Systems principal environmental engineer, John Sanderson, explained how the Charmaker works.

"Ultimately, the goal of the Charmaker is about capturing atmospheric carbon and sequestering it," he said.

"The process of creating biochar using sustainable biomass is the one technology we currently have to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and sequester it for the long term.

"It's not an R&D thing. It's something anyone can do in their backyard. It's been proven and the Charmaker is a commercial device for doing that with the added benefits of making a char product which has soil amendment benefits and other applications."

Mr Sanderson said the char created had excellent filtration uses, prevented agricultural runoff, improved soils and had numerous material science benefits.

"It can be added as the filler to building materials, can make low-density cement blocks and different sorts of construction material," he said.

"If there are any drawbacks with biochar, it's really an economic one. The market is embryonic at the moment. It is growing though."

The Charmaker, which is created with a repurposed shipping container, has yet to gain EPA approval in New South Wales, but is attracting attention from landowners across Australia.

Bio-charfest co-ordinator Don Coyne said the presentations by some of Australia's top biochar researchers and industry representatives were a hit with festival attendees.

He was pleased to see the festival opened by Byron Shire Council mayor Simon Richardson and hoped the festival would add to growing mainstream recognition of biochar.

Biochar is the name given to charcoal when used for particular purposes.

Topics:  biochar, innovation, science




Jodie inspires rugby team to wear pink at Charity Day

The Marist Brothers Rams wore pink to support Jodie McRae (centre) and her charity, Jodie's Inspiration, at the Rugby League Football Club Day on the weekend.

Marist Brothers help Jodie's Inspiration raise money for hospitals.

Kicking the TinCAN art show to help the elderly

CATCHING A TRAIN TO MOROCCO: This was one of the entries in the Tintenbar Art Show's photographic competition. Photo Contributed

The Tintenbar Art Show is on again over September

Fun time to run after the Olympics are over

FINISHED WELL: Runners in the Greater Casino Fun Run cross the line last year. Photo Samantha Elley / Express Examiner

Starlight Children's Foundation to benefit from fun run

Latest deals and offers

What's on the small screen this week

MasterChef Australia's final four contestants, from left, Harry Foster, Elena Duggan, Elise Franciskovic and Matt Sinclair.

MASTERCHEF makes way for The Bachelor on Ten's reality TV slate.

Splendour found The Cure

Robert Smith at the Splendour in the Grass Amphitheatre stage during The Cure's show.

Day two of Splendour in the Grass

Guy Sebastian a hit at Splendour in the Grass

Guy Sebastian performs at Splendour in the Grass with Paces.

REALITY TV judge a hit with festival crowd.

Splendour revellers cool down with giant poo emoji

The Mr Poopie sculpture at Splendour in the Grass.

Mr Poopie sculpture is inspired by the ice cream/poop emoticon.

Superheroes of the big screen enjoy sounds of Splendour

CHRIS Hemsworth and his Avengers mates drop by Byron festival.

Indigenous artist shows tourists secrets of Aboriginal painting

Ever thought "I could do that" about Aboriginal art?

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started