Eucalyptus oil and bioenergy production in the Wheatbelt
May 06, 2019 at 10:07 AM
Kochii Australian Eucalyptus Oil
The small and innovative town of Kalannie is home to the Kochii Australian Eucalyptus Oil Distillery, producing 50 tonnes of oil each year. The products and brand have been built from the ground up by a team with an interest in agriculture and inspired by the future of sustainability in industry in Australia. Find out more about the team here…
In the 1990s, the late Don Stanley (father of Director Ian Stanley) founded the WA Oil Mallee Association, which encouraged farmers to plant an estimated 2000 hectares of Mallee Eucalyptus trees across the State. The Stanley family has planted just over a million trees on their farm.
Over the past two years the price paid for Australian eucalyptus oil has more than doubled, driven by a demand from the pharmaceutical and cleaning industries for the very high cineole content found in the Kochii (pronounced “koh-chee-eye”) species.
Eucalyptus Kochii contains the highest oil content of the 800 species of eucalypts and it has a 95% concentration of cineole, the highest of any species in the world. Cineole is also known as eucalyptol, valued for its natural deodorising and disinfectant properties. The oil is extracted by steaming the leaves using water that is continually recycled throughout the production process and then using the processed leaves to fire the boiler.
Products include pure oil and infused candles and are available online or via a range of stockists.
For more information visit www.kochiioil.com.au.
Rainbow Bee Eater ground breaking technology in renewable energy
The Rainbow Bee Eater (RBE) group has spent 11 years designing and building a power plant that uses biomass (organic matter) to create clean burning fuel gas or electricity in one single process.
Wheatbelt farmer Ian Stanley worked with a team of engineers and scientists to find a way to use the left over tree biomass from eucalyptus oil production to produce electricity and biochar (charcoal that acts as a high carbon soil conditioner to increase water and nutrient retention in soil). The technology has been successfully developed on Mr Stanley’s farm in Kalannie.
South Australian herb grower Holla Fresh has purchased the $3 million ECHO2, a fully automated plant which converts building waste into hot water, electricity, CO2 and biochar.
The concept of biomass power generation could be a solution for end of grid power supply issues that affect regional WA. The RBE group says that ECHO2 power plant has the potential to produce enough energy to power the Kalannie town site and this could also be replicated in other small regional towns.
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