News | June 11, 2007

BEST Energies Wins UN World Environment Day Award

Madison, WI - The Australian developed BEST pyrolysis technology -- hailed by one of the leading environmentalist, Tim Flannery, as one of the most important technologies available for stabilizing the world's climate -- has been chosen by the United Nations Association of Australia as the winner of their major World Environment Day Awards category, ‘Meeting the Greenhouse Challenge', along with project partners, the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Adriana Downie, who accepted the award for BEST Energies, said the commercial uptake of the BEST pyrolysis technology will result in significant carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas mitigation. "Adoption of the technology will deliver long-term sustainability benefits of increased soil health and therefore agricultural productivity."

The slow pyrolysis technology developed by BEST Energies is particularly exciting because it not only produces a renewable energy to displace the use of fossil fuels, but it also produces a very stable form of solid carbon which can be sequestered over the long term in soils.

This process has been developed by BEST Energies with support from the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change and involves heating green waste or other biomass without oxygen to generate renewable energy and a high carbon char product. BEST Energies has a fully integrated pilot plant operating at their demonstration site at Somersby, on the Central Coast of NSW.

"Once the high carbon char product, Agrichar, is added as an amendment to agricultural soils, some of the most remarkable and promising benefits of this technology become apparent," said Adriana Downie, Technical Manager for BEST Energies Australia. Experiments conducted by the NSW Department of Primary Industries have demonstrated that the char product can improve several soil health indicators as well as increase crop yields and productivity.

NSW DPI research scientist, Dr Lukas Van Zwieten, has found that when applied at 10t/ha, the biomass of wheat was tripled and of soybeans was more than doubled.

Van Zwieten said the char product also decreases emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas nitrous oxide from soils and increases the efficiency of nitrogen fertilizers.

NSW Primary Industries Minister, Ian Macdonald said this new process offers hope for using soils as a carbon "sink".

Tim Flannery, Australian of the Year, renowned scientist and author of "The Weather Makers", is a major advocate of char and pyrolysis. In 'The Bulletin' magazine, Flannery recently listed "fostering pyrolysis-based technologies" fourth among his five steps for saving the planet.

The UN Association award winners for World Environment Day were announced at a ceremony in Melbourne, Australia on Friday June 1.

Based in Madison, Wisconsin, BEST Energies is focused on leading the development of clean energy solutions all based on renewable bio-resources. BEST has formed a family of companies that provide integrated bioenergy solutions around the world where biomass is available and energy is needed. To learn more, visit or contact Cory Wendt, VP of Business Development, at (608) 827-2970 or