Biochar Cluster Group

Biochar Cluster Group

Capacity to Deliver

The issue

Biochar is a form of solid residual black carbon derived from the thermo-chemical decomposition of renewable biomass feedstock such as wood, crop residues, manures or leaves, heated in a closed container at relatively lower temperature (<700 degrees C) under oxygen limited condition and specifically prepared for soil amelioration and Carbon (C) sequestration. Biochar can be added to soil as a soil conditioner, and as a livestock feed additive improving feed conversion efficiency, production and reducing methane emissions. The nutrient retention capacity of biochar leads to reduction in fertiliser use, so it indirectly results in reduced environmental costs associated with the production of chemical fertilisers and energy for supply and distribution and land application.

The solution

An initial trial will be used as a stepping-stone to further explore options for organic waste conversion to biochar in the region, and it is envisioned that a consortia of industry, researchers, government and community groups will join the established biochar cluster group for technical consultation and knowledge sharing and to further scope a range of use options in the future.

The impact

This can result in a range of benefits and opportunities by: Supporting a regionally-based innovation solution to a waste problem that generates products and inputs that can be used for the benefit of agriculture, food and fibre manufacturing, and contribute to regional economic growth and climate change goals. Every regional community generates waste products and needs innovative solutions to improve resource use efficiency and reduce reliance on external farm inputs. Delivering the capacity for community, government and industries to respond to emerging climate, water and related changes in business and planning decisions. Assist producers here and in other regions to use waste organics such as biofertilisers to improve soil health and water holding potential, reduce dependence on imported chemicals, and help the community become more self-reliant. Provide an opportunity for primary producers to value-add waste organic products (e.g. rice straw and wood waste) via a new value-add income stream providing a buffer against commodity price cycles and climate related issues such as drought. Conduct land remediation and rehabilitation, sustainable and profitable regenerative agriculture, rural and regional employment, including substantial multiplier effects in upstream (biomass supply etc) and downstream (markets) industries for businesses in the new carbon economy. Opportunities for Indigenous employment as part of land management solutions also present themselves.

Project Partners