A partnership to establish a pyrolysis facility in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta to turn waste biomass from agricultural activities into biochar – a durable form of permanent carbon storage which can also be used for soil conditioning, water filtration and as a animal feed that lowers emissions. The facility and its supply chains is expected to create green jobs, improve livelihoods and reduce air and water pollution in the region.
Over 80% of Vietnam’s rice harvest comes from the Mekong Delta region. However, throughout the region, and elsewhere in the country, rice husks and other agriculture waste biomass are burnt or left to naturally decompose, causing significant methane and carbon dioxide emissions.
The waste biomass can be used to produce a high-value biomass charcoal (“biochar”), a product that is not only a carbon store (generating permanent carbon removal), but can also be used:
- as a soil conditioner to increase water and nutrient retention,
- to control soil acidification and nitrate leaching,
- to deliver nutrients in hostile soil,
- as an emissions-reducing livestock feed additive,
- to remediate soil, and
- as a water filtration substrate.
About the initiative
The partnership aims to install a biochar production plant in the Mekong Delta to process waste rice husk into biochar, to be distributed and sold as a high-value product and to generate carbon credits. Biochar production uses pyrolysis, a process which heats waste biomass in a kiln with little to no oxygen to create the high-value charcoal. When the production plant is operational, the project aims to remove around 15,000 tonnes of CO2 annually, verified using established biochar methodologies.
Sharing benefits with local communities
The initiative will generate dual income streams from (i) the sale and distribution of biochar and (ii) the creation and sale of carbon credits from the biochar’s verified emission removals. The partnership will design and implement a revenue sharing mechanism with local project partners to share the benefits of this activity and improve local livelihoods. The project will also create a number of “green jobs” and new income streams – directly and through supply chains – for local community members.
Key contributions from partners:
- Biocare Projects Pty Ltd will manage the project development, feasibility, technology, due diligence, commissioning, carbon credit marketing and sales, and biochar end use advisory.
- The University of Adelaide will assist with the project to liaise with Vietnamese partners and advise on local industry, academia, and culture.
- EnergyLink Services Pty Ltd will undertake the full suite of carbon and life cycle emissions analysis to support carbon project registration, monetisation and facilitate the required validation processes.
- Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology will, through its existing relationship with the University of Adelaide, act as a market and cultural liaison for the partnership.
- Mai Anh Dong Thap Pty Ltd will assist in identifying a suitable site for the production plant and facilitate its staffing and operations.
- Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provides catalytic funding and can offer expertise to strengthen social and commercial impacts, connection to an extensive network, support to capture and report social impact, and national and global recognition.
Hear from our partners:
“We are excited to be partnering with DFAT on this project which we believe will be driving meaningful climate action and results, in the form of permanent carbon removal from the atmosphere. We will be leveraging the greatest carbon removal tool currently at our disposal, the biosphere pump, and transforming it’s agricultural waste products into a durable and permanent carbon store in the form of biochar, which will serve to benefit agricultural production in the region which is under significant strain from rising fertiliser prices and eroding soil quality.” Nick Guzowski, CEO Biocare
“EnergyLink Services is proud to be supporting our partner Biocare Projects on this unique and impactful project. As Biocare’s technical partner, we will guide them on all aspects of the project including assessing and quantifying carbon removed from the atmosphere, permanence of that removal and the quality of the biochar. We recognise the importance of not only avoiding GHG emissions, but also the need to start removing carbon from the atmosphere to meet the climate goals set out under the Paris Agreement. Our strategic partnership with Biocare Projects means we can apply our specialist carbon and energy expertise to help unlock projects like this one in Vietnam.” Philip Link, CEO EnergyLink Services