Green Markets

EWN Publishing

Eco-Carbons to convert cereal-grain ‘seconds’, husks, fruit stones, nut shells, even straw, into renewable energy

Posted by gmarkets on 11 October, 2007

A pilot factory based in Gunnedah, NSW, and perhaps a second unit in Toowoomba, Queensland, could spearhead the emergence of an industrial process able to turn farm wastes into charcoal beads, providing a new source of renewable energy, wrote Graham Fuller in Queensland Country Life (4/10/2007, p.23).

Range of applications: Eco-Carbons Pty Ltd spokeperson Michael Neil said the thrust of the process was to convert organic waste materials such as cereal grain ‘seconds, husks, fruit stones, nut shells, even straw, into carbon products suitable for industrial and domestic applications. “Our research and development program has given us the confidence to trial carbonistion plants to produce, under controlled conditions, charcoal fuel beads for a range of applications in Australia.” he said.

The process, and products: The plant’s three-stage process involved milling, the formation of beads using natural hinders, prior to churning out lightweight and highly porous carbon fuel beads. As a bonus the construction industry stood to benefit from a spin-off product – namely, lightweight concrete which should help reduce building costs. Then there was the interesting possibility of providing horticultural industries with a product able to retain water and stimulate plant growth without suffering from high evaporation rates. He estimated the cost of these plants to be in the order of $4m with the establishment of the first outlet likely to stimulate widespread interest across the country.

Queensland Country Life, 4/10/2007, p. 23

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