The Australian and New Zealand Biochar Initiative Inc. is a collaborative group of growers, scientists, engineers and other stakeholders interested in advancing the understanding and application of viable Biochar systems both small scale and large scale.
What is Biochar? Biochar is a stable, carbon-rich form of charcoal produced by heating organic residues from plants or animal wastes (biomass) in an oxygen limited environment. Biochar is chemically and biologically much more stable than the organic matter from which it was made.
What are Biochar systems? The systems that produce and use biochar. This encompasses biomass collection, biochar production and processing, logistics, packaging, and the processes and outcomes of the end-use of the biochar.
What are our guiding principles? ANZBI exists to enable Biochar systems that deliver a net economic, environmental and social beneﬁt. We advocate the following principles are observed in Biochar systems.
- Sustainable biomass resources. The biomass used is from sustainably harvested and renewable resources, where the use of that biomass does not diminish essential environmental services, such as maintenance of water and air quality, protection of soil resources, and conservation of biodiversity.
- Carbon Negative or at least Carbon Neutral. Advanced Biochar systems contribute a net drawdown of atmospheric greenhouse gasses. Basic Biochar systems must, at minimum, be carbon neutral.
- Meeting Environmental, Health and Safety Regulations. The Biochar systems must not adversely affect air, soil and water quality. The systems must meet Australian/New Zealand environmental, health and safety regulations and standards.
From international experience (eg China and California) ANZBI recognises that some existing standards and regulations may need to be adjusted to enable the economic, environmental and social beneﬁts that Biochar systems are able to provide.
What is the scope of our interests? ANZBI is interested in all facets of Biochar systems including: 1. soil productivity 2. animal health 3. water, soil, air quality 4. greenhouse gas drawdown/carbon sequestration 5. building products 6. road building materials 7. biochar production systems 8. co-products such as bio-energy, wood vinegar, syngas and bio-oils. 9. waste management 10. environmental management 11. sustainability of feedstock supply 12. life cycle analysis of alternative Biochar systems in the medium term, to ensure that Biochar systems deliver a net economic, environmental and social beneﬁt, we aim to develop and promote the use of a Biochar systems guideline. We envisage that this guideline would require: * the Biochar manufacturing process must increase the aromatic nature of the product – this is considered the essential step in stabilising the carbon in the biomass to enable long-term carbon sequestration – ensuring a decreased volatile carbon content and signiﬁcantly increased ﬁxed carbon content in the product compared with the feedstock. * use of a closed vessel with capture and usage of the evolved gases * environmental and process controls.
What are ANZBI Priorities? ANZBI exists to enable Biochar systems that deliver a net economic, environmental and social beneﬁt. Our current priorities were established at the ANZBC18 Conference 1. Research, Development and Deployment Priorities
We are drafting a document that reﬂects our understanding of the main research, development and deployment priorities (our Oct 2018 document) 2. Education and Advocacy Priorities (per the current marketing discussion) 3. Biochar Standards Current activity
The Committee members, representing over 70+ members to date in Australia & New Zealand are currently:
Professor Stephen Joseph (University of NSW) Office Bearer
Tony Davidson (Davos Worms, Vic) Office Bearer
Richard Upperton (PFS Energy N.Z. & Malaysia) Office Bearer
Don Coyne (Byron Biochar & Australia New Zealand Biochar Conference, N.S.W.) President and Public Officer
Corey Woosley (Bio-Trade, N.S.W.) Office Bearer
Dr Adrian Morphett (Earth Systems, Vic) Treasurer
Peter Burgess (Rainbow Bee Eater, Vic) Office Bearer
Karen Siepen (Renewable Carbon Resources Australia, Qld) Office Bearer
Peter Morris (Dairy Farmer N.Z.) Office Bearer