@AuManufacturing Conversations episode 4 — John Mellowes from PyroAg

In episode four of @AuManufacturing Conversations with Brent Balinski,  we speak to John Mellowes, CEO of PyroAg Wood Vinegar and Director at Biocarbon.

We learn some of the fundamentals of pyrolysis and its products — such as biochar, wood vinegar and syngas — when used to decompose biomass.

Mellowes tells us about the potential of wood vinegar, also known as pyroligneous acid, which PyroAg makes and supplies to agricultural industry customers.

PyroAg has worked with University of Newcastle researchers over the last few years on the product to understand its safeness and benefits in soil biological health.

We also get an update on Biocarbon’s R&D involving biochar briquettes for steelmaking with Molycop. This is being scaled up and if successful could be used to replace coking coal.

The volumes required could be an answer in bringing the cost of biochar down. The substance is interesting to some due to its potential to sequester carbon and improve soil, but is currently too expensive for widespread use.

“To get the cost down it’s really going to be that old story of getting to scale,” Mellowes says.

“And that’s part of the reason we’ve gone down the steelworks route, actually.”

You can listen to the discussion above, as well as via platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Amazon Music. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider subscribing and leaving a review.

Main picture: supplied

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