Illawarra Shoalhaven

Biomass Capacity Assessment

The ISJO is currently undertaking a assessment into the regional availability of biomass to support BlueScope’s steel making operations. 


Further to circular economy investigations underway, the ISJO has focused on manufactured wood products destined for landfill and their conversion to carbonaceous materials.  Laboratory testing of the pyrolysed material demonstrated production of a high quality biochar product from MDF and particleboard destined for landfill. 


An alignment between BlueScope’s innovative drivers to reduce carbon emissions from steel making processes and the ISJO’s existing research outcomes was apparent.  This extended to the ISJO’s current research scope to expand investigation into alternate sources of biomass for biochar production while potentially supporting the use of biochar as a replacement for PCI in blast furnace operations. 


The outcomes for both BlueScope and the ISJO present opportunities for a valuable regional circular economy, potential reduction in carbon emissions and social and economic benefits.