Voiceover: Australia’s pig farmers have a long record of innovation and adaptation. The Carbon Farming Initiative, an opportunity to be part of the Australian governments clean energy future is a voluntary carbon offset scheme, offering economic rewards for a range of measures which either reduce greenhouse gas emission or store carbon. Carbon capture can be used to both save and earn money as it has been at this Queensland piggery.
Alan: My name’s Alan Skerman I’m the principal environmental engineer based in Toowoomba. Everyone knows that energy costs have been increasing fairly rapidly in recent years. Of course they’re also interested in reducing the carbon footprint of the pig industry by covering ponds and even just flaring the bio gas that’s created they can actually reduce the carbon footprint of pig meat very substantially. There’s four sheds on this property, once a week roughly the manure and waste products are released from the pits under the sheds, they move by gravity down a pipeline into the anaerobic effluent pond. So what we’ve done here is we’ve put an impermeable cover over the top of the pond to collect that methane and carbon dioxide gas which is released through the anaerobic decomposition process that’s happening in the pond. A pipeline takes the biogas from the extraction system across to a water heating system and the heated water is then circulated through some concrete pads. It keeps the piglets warm in the farrowing sheds. We’re collecting about 50 cubic metres per day of methane so the energy value of that is about 1600 mega joules per day, alternatively it could be also put into the grid and they would get credits for the electricity they’re putting into the grid. Across Australian agriculture there’s opportunities for producers to look at innovative ways in which they can reduce their energy costs and at the same time reduce their carbon footprints and basically that’s a win win situation.
Voiceover: To find out more about the Carbon Farming Initiative and the many ways in which you could come involved visit www. cleanenerergyfuture.gov.au
This research project was carried out by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Qld) as part of the Australian Methane to Markets in Agriculture (AM2MA) program, which was managed by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. The project was supported by funding from the Australian Government’s Climate Change Research Program along with funding and support from industry partners: the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, Dairy Australia, Australian Pork Limited, Meat and Livestock Australia, the Australian Lot Feeders’ Association, and the Australian Chicken Meat Federation.