Carbon removal project aims to improve livelihoods in Vietnam

Biochar team with Dr Tran (far right)

James Steward (on left in white suit) COO of Biocare Projects; Nick Guzowski (cream suit), CEO of Biocare Projects; Associate Professor Le Thi Kim Phung, Head of Sustainable Process Engineering Group (SPE), Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, VNU-HCM (HCMUT); Le Thi Tuyet Mai, (right) Managing Director, Mai Anh Dong Thap Pty Ltd and Dr Nam Nghiep Tran (far right), Associate Dean of International Strategic Partnerships for South East Asia, Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology, the University of Adelaide.

The University of Adelaide is a partner in a project to establish a facility in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta to turn waste biomass from agricultural activities into biochar.

“The project will turn agricultural waste into biochar, a durable form of permanent carbon storage which can also be used as soil conditioning, water filtration and as an animal feed that lowers emissions,” said the University of Adelaide’s Dr Nam Nghiep Tran, Associate Dean, International Strategic Partnerships (South East Asia).

“The University of Adelaide will provide advice on local industry, academia, and culture, and assist the project by liaising with Vietnamese partners.

“The facility and its supply chains are expected to create green jobs, improve livelihoods and reduce air and water pollution in the region.”

Over 80 per cent of Vietnam’s rice harvest comes from the Mekong Delta region. Throughout the region, and elsewhere in the country, rice husks and other agriculture waste biomass is burnt or left to naturally decompose, causing significant methane and carbon dioxide emissions.

Biochar production uses pyrolysis, a process which heats waste biomass in a kiln with little to no oxygen to create the high-value charcoal.

“The initiative will generate dual income streams from the sale and distribution of biochar and the creation and sale of carbon credits from the biochar’s verified emission removals,” said Dr Tran.

“The partnership will design and implement a revenue sharing mechanism with local project partners so that the benefits of this activity will 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.”

When the production plant is operational, the project aims to remove around 15,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.

"The partnership will design and implement a revenue sharing mechanism with local project partners so that the benefits of this activity will improve local livelihoods."Dr Nam Nghiep Tran

“The University of Adelaide is commitment to having a significant local and global impact on society’s challenges such as creating a more sustainable future,” said the University of Adelaide’s Dr Jessica Gallagher, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement).

“Projects like this reinforce the University’s existing ties in South East Asia and bring direct benefits to the local community.”

The project is one of six new private sector partnerships, announced in November under the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)’s Business Partnerships Platform (BPP), which will promote the growth of sustainable carbon markets that deliver significant social and environmental benefits to communities in Vietnam.

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