Sweetman Renewables has drawn significant interest from sawmills interested in supplying the company with sufficient biomass for the creation of renewable energy on a home scale, including green hydrogen, as well as for export.
Sweetman Renewables is now in advanced negotiations with a number of forest and plantation owners and contractors regarding the delivery of biomass from sawlog harvesting wastes.
While it is still in its infancy in Australia, the use of biomass to generate renewable energy is already widespread in other nations such as Scandinavia, China, and Japan.
“Negotiations with sawmill and wood processing companies to supply biomass for export for bioenergy production in Japan and for domestic renewable energy utilisation are encouraging and ongoing,” chairman John Halkett said.
“This includes supplying biomass to the Verdant Earth Technologies renewable baseload power station at Singleton, New South Wales, and also for domestic green hydrogen production.”
Sweetman intends to convert waste wood and biomass into green energy in order to meet the global hydrogen market’s rapid growth.
Green hydrogen is the preferred alternative because it is generated without the use of fossil fuels or renewable energy, resulting in net zero emissions and a premium price.
Around 25-30 million tonnes of waste lumber residues are predicted to be required to replace 25% of Australia’s coal-fired plants or to generate 5 gigawatts of green baseload power using waste biomass.
Halkett added that considerable amounts of waste biomass could potentially be derived from industrial and residual waste streams. Currently, wood accounts for around 13% of materials that end up in landfill.
Utilizing this leftover wood alleviates pressure on landfills and benefits local governments financially.
“Waste wood residues present an exciting opportunity to expand Australia’s bioenergy sector and support increasing use of renewable fuels for baseload energy, plus remove waste wood from landfills,” Halkett said.
Sweetman will employ a pyrolysis thermal recovery device to convert waste biomass into green hydrogen for residential consumption. Each modular unit will generate hydrogen and biochar — a stable, carbon-rich type of charcoal used to improve soil fertility – by using 24 tonnes of biomass wastes every day.
Calorific levels and other technical characteristics are now being tested in the laboratory.
This will give more detailed data on biomass sourced from forests and plantations, as well as biomass derived from industrial and residential waste streams, in order to assist potential biomass exports as well as local renewable energy and hydrogen production.