Adelaide Hills Biochar Initiative


by Brian Lewis - November 18th, 2016.
Filed under: Announcements.

Now that the EPA has introduced its new air quality regulations the need for a safe and cheap alternative to burning tree litter is imperative. The answer has been staring us in the face for some years. Gasifier type biochar kilns can be used by households and home gardeners to cook their garden waste at high temperatures to make biochar. This can be done with a few minutes of wood smoke during start-up after which the waste emits a clean smoke-free gas flame. The end result is high carbon biochar for use as a soil supplement via the compost heap or by direct application. Biochar kilns need to be approved by Councils as a matter of urgency for use by home gardeners and landholders so that tree litter can be cleaned up progressively before the fire-ban season arrives.

Let’s get the Council wheels in motion on this so that by next year at the latest biochar kilns can be used throughout the Adelaide Hills to help dispose of tree litter in an environmentally friendly way.

I have spoken to the EPA officer responsible for the new air quality policy and it seems that Fire Prevention Officers at the Adelaide Hills Councils simply need to satisfy themselves that the kiln does not emit visible smoke to an extent that would contravene the intent of the new EPA regulations on air quality.

So on that basis the TLUD gasifier kilns and the Kon-Tiki kilns would all satisfy the requirements. Visible smoke and particulate emissions from these types of kilns are virtually zero within a few minutes of start-up. The wood gas emitted by the wood is burned off in a clean gas flame.

So anyone out there that needs to dispose of tree litter please consider making a simple gasifier kiln over the summer months and having it ready for use as soon as the fire-ban season ends.

I’m sure the various Council fire prevention officers would be delighted with any initiative that reduces the fuel load in such an environmentally friendly manner.

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