The problem of sequestering surplus atmospheric carbon dioxide is thought to be so difficult that in 2007 Richard Branson and Al Gore launched the $25 million Virgin Earth Challenge prize for a viable technology that can achieve this feat. The best candidate is biochar, which functions in nature as a long-term carbon store. In this project I am investigating and validating a new methodology for sustainable charring of biomass waste. Novel principles of reactive thermal coupling are being developed and applied to optimize a balance between char and fuel production and achieve emissions capture. These principles applied to the flue gas emissions problem also have the potential to effect a carbon capture technology of unprecedented economic viability.
Sustainable carbon sequestration – or charXiving – involves the interaction of carbon cycle science and technology with human communities and employment, particularly in rural and remote regions of Australia. The outputs of this project will help to strengthen resilience and adaptation to climate change in rural Australia. There is strong potential to generate employment and sustainable industry in rural and remote regions because charXiving will be essentially a distributed industry. A key aim of the project is to disseminate the “biochar revolution” in rural and remote Australia.
Co-production of biochars and bio-oils using Endex methodologies according to charXive principles has the potential to create wealth, employment, and industry in rural Australia, fertilise and remediate soils on a large scale, and achieve significant additional greenhouse gas abatements.