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EARTHCHAT: Biochar: economically viable, long-term, carbon storage?

A pyrolyser makes 3 cu m of sawdust/hour (ABC Rural)

Tony Richardson and his partner Rita have been growing trees on their two farms for 25 years. They invested their super (against advice at the time) and grew different eucalypt species hoping to log them for timber after about 25 years.


However, Tony, a transport engineer by profession, had been captivated by the potential of biochar, and peeler logs for plywood. Growing trees for logs locks up carbon for maybe 50 years, and all of the upper tree and branches and leaves (75% of the biomass of a tree) become carbon emitting waste. In contrast, biochar can lock up carbon for 100 years, and all of the tree not peeled for plywood can be pyrolysed…no waste.  Logging takes the base of the tree trunk, but the rest of the tree is left to rot, or burnt; a big carbon emitter, and a wasted resource. Tony recommends a 10 year plantation turnaround as the best carbon storage, with biochar and peeler logs sold on the retail market. A short turnaround means the farmer’s plantation is less likely to be lost to bushfires.


What does this all mean? EarthChat on Tuesday shares an interview with Tony Richardson, with Peter Lockyer as host and guest commentator and local gardener Brian Bowring offering his perspectives… Brian has been a biochar advocate for years.


Join us 12noon, Tuesday 30th April. The show will be repeated on 103.9 SeymourFM at 8am on Saturday. Click here for Seymour FM's website


Can't catch the radio broadcast? Catch up on Spotify, Apple Podcasts,  Podbean and the BEAM website. We make it easy to Earth-Chat!



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