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The North East Catchment Management Authority is a previous project, funded by the Department of Business Innovation’s “Market Validation Program” Victorian State Government to the value of approximately $1.6M, for the development of a mobile Biochar technology for the conversion of on-farm wood waste (eg woody weeds such as willow).

Image: Biochar. Simon Dallenger 2014

This project has developed a prototype furnace that is capable of producing several tonnes of Biochar a day, on farm, out of wood based waste streams with the use of predominantly existing farm machinery and skills. Parallel to the development of this technology has been an in depth investigation into Biochar characterisation, emission testing, life cycle analysis and an exploration into possible end-uses for the resulting char.


Mobile Biochar System Demonstration

Biochar Capacity Building Program

Eight on farm replicated Biochar trials are planned to be conducted across the region to evaluate and assess the productive and environmental benefits to soils through the incorporation of Biochar. A monitoring and evaluation programme will be established to analyse changes, looking at soil chemistry, health, biology, emissions, life cycle, environmental assessment and water holding capacity to examine the benefits and costs of incorporating Biochar into a farming system. Broad community engagement is a key focus, especially with 500 farmers the CMA has been working with who are involved in a soil carbon project; these farmers have been involved with soil testing and agronomy sessions to improve their understanding of the role of soil carbon in sustainable agricultural systems.

This video provides information on the results of this project.

From Woody Weed Biochar to Improved Soils and Sequestered Carbon - Report