Agrichar™ Biochar as a Soil Amendment


The Agrichar™ biochar brand is internationally recognised and has become synonymous with quality control and best practice environmental standards. Agrichar™ biochar has been the product of choice for international research programs.

Scanning electron micrograph of some Agrichar BiocharThe brand is backed by extensive, independent third party scientific trials. The trials commenced in 2006, as part of on‐going research collaboration with the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI). Since that time an extensive range of experimental programs have been undertaken utilising several sources of grant funds totalling over $1 million (this includes contributions from the NSW DECC).

The trials have sought to test the performance characteristics in different soil types, climates, crops and land management practices, therefore trials of various kinds have been established in NSW (Northern, South Western, and Sydney basin), SA, VIC, WA and QLD. International trials have also been conducted in New Zealand, Netherlands and the United States.

These trials represent the longest running, scientifically rigorous trials in biochar produced from a modern engineered plant in the world. The trials have generated third party independent peer reviewed scientific papers and have successfully demonstrated the agricultural benefits of  Agrichar™ biochar including:

•  Increased crop productivity;
•  Improved soil health characteristics, including enhanced earthworm attraction;
•  Liming value, meaning less lime is required on AgricharTM amended soils;
•  Increased fertiliser use efficiency;
•  Improved soil water holding characteristics;
•  Decreased soil greenhouse gas emissions;
•  Soil carbon sequestration, with half lives in the thousands of year scale;
•  Improved nodulation of legumes; and
•  Reduction in soil tensile strength. 

The abovementioned benefits have been demonstrated in trials on sugar cane, canola, macadamias, avocados, faba beans, pasture and corn. The trials are currently being extended to include trials in coffee, tea, potatoes, and peanuts. These outcomes have been demonstrated on a wide range of feedstocks including municipal greenwaste, paper sludge, waste wood, wheat chaff, poultry litter, and feedlot manure. Where required, Agrichar™ biochar can be pelletised to increase the bulk density for ease of transport and handling.  

The following photo shows drums of Agrichar™ biochar about to be added to some sugar cane field trials in Northern NSW.



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Biochar as a Green Fuel


Biochar produced from the Pacific Pyrolysis process can also be utilised as a green fuel and in some cases a metallurgical reductant.  Biochar produced from softwood increased its calorific value from 18 MJ/kg to 31 MJ/kg. The char can be then be pelletised resulting in pellets with an energy density of 24 MJ/m3, compared to the 13 MJ/m3 energy density of cold pelleted softwood sawdust. This has significant implications on shipping costs per MJ of energy.  Sulphur concentrations are also magnitudes below that of black coal at around ~0.02%. 

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Biochar Research


Pacific Pyrolysis has supplied research grade biochar or formed research collaborations with a number of organisations including:

•  NSW Department of Primary Industries; under a MOU to
   facilitate several research grants;
•  University of New South Wales, via an Australian Research Council funded project;
•  Cornell University (USA), supply of biochar samples;
•  Waginengen University (Netherlands), supply of biochar samples;
•  CSIRO, through various research programs including a GRDC and DAFF
   funded projects of national significance;
•  University of Sydney, supply of biochar samples;
•  SARDI, including a RIRDC funded project on Arondo Donax (Giant Reed);
•  Diggers Organic gardening group, including trials at their prestigious
   Heronswood public gardens in Victoria;
•  University of New England, through a federally funded soil carbon project;
•  Massey University (New Zealand), supply of biochar samples;
•  Catchment Management Authorities, two trials underway in SA and VIC on
  commercial farms.



For more information on the benefits of biochar or details on some of the research projects progressing please visit the webpage of The Australian and New Zealand Biochar Researchers Network

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