Chaotech is completing the construction of a novel slow pyrolysis pilot plant for efficient conversion of biomass to biochar (biomass charcoal). Biochar has a significant potential use as an agricultural soil amendment, as it can simultaneously increase fertilizer-use-efficiency, improve soil water retention, and sequester carbon.
The pilot plant design has been developed in-house over a number of years. The plant is designed to maximise the yield of char, at the same time ensuring the product char quality is high. The plant is rated at 40kg/hr charcoal (from a nomial 100kg/hr dry biomass feedstock), with a minimum fixed carbon content of 80% w/w. We are the recipient of a federal government Climate Ready Grant to further develop the concept.
Aside from proving our technology, our aim is to provide a cost-effective supply of charcoal to support local research efforts, so the benefits of biochar as a soil amendment on QLD and NSW agricultural soils can be further understood.