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  • A New "disruptive technology" - Coals to Liquid Biostimulant at 1/10th the price

    Hi all, Apologies for the long post but I just wanted to create some discussion/awareness and information on a small Australian company, Greenpower Energy LTD (GPP) listed on their Australian Stock Exchange, intent on disrupting the $8 Billion fertilizer market by converting coal to fertiliser/biostimulant. This is no way a investment advice - please do your own research - but I wanted to ask different farmers/growers and their reactions/responses to such a possibly "disruptive technology". The company’s Oxidative Hydrothermal Dissolution (OHD) bio-stimulant fertiliser (biological or biologically derived fertilizer additives and similar products that are used in crop production to enhance plant growth, health and productivity) has the potential to shake up the market, supported by significant cost advantages over its competition — GPP claim they can produce fertilisers at around one-tenth of the cost of manufacturing traditional fertilisers. Very recently, Greenpower coal from the Gippsland Basin was subjected to the OHD process and the resulting bio-stimulant fertiliser liquid was applied to Bok Choy in hydroponic conditions. http://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20170622/pdf/43k3ds5m4t2ss0.pdf The impact on the yield of Bok Choy utilising the OHD Bio-stimulant was evident: Bok choy Greenpower Energy OHD harvest As can be seen in the image above, bok choy responded best to the application of liquid at a rate of five litres per hectare with a 21% increase in fresh yield compared to the untreated control plants. The result of the study suggests that a bok choy trial with the OHD liquid applied as a foliar spray in commercial hydroponic growing conditions is warranted. Management highlighted the fact that the yield uplift following the application of the OHD bio-stimulant is in addition to that provided by added fertilisers. On this note, the company made the observation that the application of the OHD bio-stimulant could improve fertiliser efficiency, as was also evident in tomato and wheat trials where the control plants were stimulated with industry accepted rates of added fertiliser. As part of the current hydroponic trials Greenpower requested Monash University to also conduct trials on rocket in a hydroponic setting to further test the understanding that the use of the OHD bio-stimulant fertilisers is not suited on varieties such as rocket and lettuce with the results as expected and mirroring studies on lettuce undertaken by Monash. Studies to date have confirmed that the OHD bio-stimulant fertiliser deliver positive yield results as studies have concluded that the OHD bio-stimulant fertiliser enhances reproductive activity in plants that produce flower and seeds. Target markets in the hydroponic sector are focussed on those plant varieties that fruit and flower with a focus on tomatoes, strawberries, greens vegetables, cucumbers and melons. In February earlier this year, the company completed OHD bio-stimulant fertiliser cereal crop trials on wheat in Victoria. The results from the trials were impressive with significantly more heads of wheat on OHD treated wheat per plant compared to the untreated control wheat. The bio-stimulant fertiliser liquid was applied to test crops at application rates of 5L/ha through to 70 L/ha in addition to control plants. The results from the trials on wheat were impressive with confirmation of OHD boosting wheat yields by around 300%, when OHD application rates of between 5L/ha and 35 L/ha were used. http://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20170215/pdf/43g0mvr9k5pq9d.pdf This followed on from initial trials in October, the results of which suggested that OHD significantly increases crop yields. http://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20161021/pdf/43c58rrdg5crp0.pdf Further trials with OHD bio-stimulant fertiliser to cover oil cereals will be conducted with Monash University, with a focus on canola and palm oil. There are high hopes for these trials as studies found the OHD bio-stimulant fertiliser to enhance reproductive activity in plants that produce flowers and seeds – news expected on this front in the coming weeks. On top of that, the feasibility study for the OHD project is well underway and expected to be released in the third quarter this year. Another factor that has the potential to be highly lucrative with substantially more financial upside is the fact that GPP holds the global distribution rights for all bio-stimulant fertilisers manufactured in Australia. They have the exclusive OHD bio-stimulant rights for the next 15 years. The company is currently in discussions with international firms and national grower groups regarding offtake and partnering opportunities. Any long-term offtake contracts could be used as an instrument to fund the construction of an OHD plant. A brief summary of the process: Oxidative hydrothermal dissolution (OHD) is a brand new process for making good on the global slowdown of coal by turning it not into an energy source, but a fertiliser. Here’s a look at how the process works: Essentially, the OHD process works by crushing the coal to powder, slurrying it with water, feeding the slurry into a reactor, applying heat and pressure and introducing liquefied oxygen. It is a quick, cost effective process at 1/10th the cost of traditional products and is environmentally friendly. Existing bio-stimulant fertiliser (Fulvic acid) products for agriculture are effective, yet are expensive to produce. So despite improving plant growth and nutrient uptake benefits, these products are generally reserved for high value crops. The OHD process allows for the production of bio-stimulant fertiliser at a significant cost saving using coal as feedstock, as opposed to seaweed and other decaying plant matter, with a production cost of circa $350 to $700 per 1,000 litres wholesale. This is significantly lower than the retail price of existing bio-stimulant fertiliser at $3,500 to $7,000 per 1,000 litres – this is the typical production cost of products in the residential market such as Seasol, Powerfeed, MegaKelp and SuperKelp, which you may have come across when doing the rounds at Bunnings. The relatively lower cost of OHD production will be supported as demand for coal to produce electricity falls, opening the way for more coal supply for GPP. For more information: http://www.greenpowerenergy.com.au/oxidative-hydrothermal-dissolutions-ohd/ http://www.greenpowerenergy.com.au/gpp-smashing-the-costs-of-fertilizer-110th-the-cost-of-traditional-producers/