Sweetman Renewables in talks with forest owners over biomass residues
Sweetman, based in New South Wales, has attracted “strong interest” from sawmills keen to provide the company with plenty of biomass to produce domestic renewable energy, including green hydrogen and for export, according to Stockhead.
“Negotiations with sawmill and wood processing companies to supply biomass for export for bioenergy production in Japan and domestic renewable energy utilisation are encouraging and ongoing,” Sweetman’s chairman John Halkett told Stockhead.
“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.”
The company plans to convert waste wood and biomass into green energy to supply the rapidly growing global hydrogen market.
It is estimated that around 25-30 million tonnes of waste timber residues are needed to replace 25% of Australia’s coal-fired generators or produce 5 GW of green baseload power generation using waste biomass to power generators.
Halkett said significant quantities of waste biomass could also be sourced from post-consumer industrial and residual waste streams. Currently, wood makes up around 13% of the materials that become landfill. Using this discarded wood reduces pressure on landfills and saves money for local councils.
“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,” commented Halkett.
Sweetman will convert waste biomass into green hydrogen for domestic use using a pyrolysis thermal recovery unit. The modular unit will produce both hydrogen and biochar, with each unit consuming 24 tonnes of biomass residues a day.
Laboratory testing of calorific values and other technical parameters is now underway. This will provide more precise data for forest and plantation-sourced biomass and biomass from industrial and residential waste streams to support prospective biomass export and for domestic renewable energy and hydrogen production.