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



Slaughterhouse nightmare: father's throat slashed with saw

Casino man Adam Paget needed critical transport to hospital by the Westpac Lifesaver Helicopter after cutting his throat with a butcher's saw.

'They didn't think he'd be able to talk, but he can, he just croaks'

CWA treats sell like hot cakes

Baked goods made by members across the Northern Rivers sold like hot cakes at the NSW Country omen's Association annual market at Kingscliff.

Over $2000 was raised by the CWA at their annual sale

Police send warning after yet another mountain rescue

Police in operation Unite. Police hat.
Photo: Rob Wright / The Coffs Coast Advocate

Meanwhile, a surfer had his board stolen after leaving it in bushes.

Local Partners

Missing swimmer: Police say no missing persons reported

TWEED/Byron Local Area Command Police are continuing to work with NSW Surf Life Saving after a swimmer was seen in distress yesterday afternoon.


Celebrate our native Aussies on January 26

Davidsons plums are one of the foods native to our region. Made into a dipping sauce or marinade, they're perfect for an Australia Day barbecue. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Spice up your Australia Day celebration with some local bush tucker

What's fresh at your local farmers' market

Chillies should be available at your local farmers' market. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Chillies, figs, finger limes, eggplants are ripe for the eating

'More sick people will be jailed': Confusion over medical cannabis

There is ongoing confusion about the legalities surrounding medical cannabis.

Is it legal? Where can you get it? What are your rights?

What's on the small screen this week

Grant Denyer will host Channel 10's Australia Day concert from the Sydney Opera House.

STAR-studded Australia Day celebrations and fascinating docos.

Jennifer Aniston wants to return to TV

Jennifer Aniston is desperate to make a return to TV

Madonna hopes for election unity

Madonna hopes Donald Trump's election will "bring people together"

JK Rowling rules out Cursed Child trilogy

JK Rowling has ruled out a 'Cursed Child' movie trilogy

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Agents desperate for stock as homebuyers circle region

Coorabell houses had a whopping median sale price of $1.4 million.

Lower price ranges stand out as Coffs property best sellers

7 quirky Airbnb homes on the Northern Rivers

Broken Head Bodhi Treehouse

Stay in a shipping container or treehouse for your next holiday

Controversial Iron Gates development renamed

Raine and Horne

Peaceful, pristine and perfect is the new motto for Iron Gates

'That’s the nature of commercial reality': Lismore council

GAME CHANGER: The $13 million proposal by Quest proposal is for a three-storey complex featuring 41 serviced apartments, 53 on-site carparks, 24-hour on-site management, a gymnasium and modern guest facilities.

"It's a shame the development is no longer on the table"

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!