The Imperata Imperative
A Commercial Pathway to Restoring Rainforest
H2Oasis Energy solves the problem of deforestation.
Deforestation in tropical countries accounts for almost one fifth, 17.4% of annual anthropogenic CO2 emissions.
There is more carbon stored in the world?s forests than in all remaining oil reserves in the world.
A number of studies have pointed to measures to curb deforestation as one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways of mitigating climate change.
We take away the need to ?slash and burn? tropical Rainforest.
Sustainable horticultural communities will be established on devastated grasslands.
Imperata cylindrica ? Ranked No.7 in the World?s Worst Weeds.
Efforts to reclaim Imperata grassland areas and put them to intensive agricultural use where shifting cultivation is practised have been debated in Indonesia since at least the 1930s.
A common prescription was large-scale reforestation, possibly with international financial support via projects aiming to increase carbon (C) sequestration. However, no large scale enterprise has been established and only small communities try to rectify the problem. Their efforts fail to have any real effect.
Their techniques range from manual slashing of the grass followed by hoeing, application of systemic herbicides followed by plowing and sometimes preceded by burning to plowing with animal or mechanical traction, usually after burning the Imperata aboveground biomass to make work easier. Before clearing by almost any method, thatch can be manually collected from Imperata areas and used for roofing.
Cash-poor farmers rely on hoeing with family labor, and can clear only a quarter to half a hectare per family per year, in the dry season (July?October). If labor was paid, this method would be very expensive. Land cleared in this way was generally used for planting food crops such as upland rice (Oryza sativa L.), maize (Zea mays L.), or soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.]. There is no restoration to Rainforest.
According to Forestry Statistics of Indonesia 1996/1997, the total area of critical lands (usually dominated by I. cylindrica grass) was 12,517,632 ha of which 3,759,257 ha was inside forest land and the remaining 8,758,375 ha outside forest land.
Some of the I. cylindrica grasslands outside the forest land occur on transmigration areas, where most of the transmigration communities abandon their land (known as ?lahan usaha 2?) after two to three harvests of food crops. Because of decreasing soil fertility followed by low productivity, they move to other pieces of land (usually forest land) to cultivate their food crops, a process of shifting cultivation. Other villagers create additional income through the practice of illegal cutting.
The extensive shifting cultivation and illegal cutting practices are creating new Imperata cylindrica grasslands throughout the whole country, both inside and outside forest land.
Imperata cylindrica occupies at least 35 million hectares in tropical Asia.
These Imperata wastelands have resulted from slash & burn practices.
The clearing of Rainforests to make way for Palm Oil is one of the key factors.
My plan is to use the Imperata Biomass to produce biofuels and paper pulp.
This will involve the complete harvesting of the Imperata ? both the above ground foliage and the rhizomes that grow to a depth of 60cm.
This harvesting will eradicate Imperata and condition the soil in preparation for plantings of Palm Oil seedlings, food crops, and a variety of Rainforest species.
Subsequently, to protect the land from erosion and regrowth of weeds an environment friendly matting would be put in place.
A proportion of the biofuel and paper pulp will be used in the making of this matting.
Over the next 20 years these Imperata grasslands could then be transformed into Rainforest, Palm Oil Plantations, and Sustainable Food Production.
At the end of 20 years the Imperata would be reduced to zero and in its place would be a sustainable community for both humans and wildlife.
Starting out with rehabilitating a small area of Imperata and growing at 14% per annum will achieve the objective in 20 years.
After or during these 20 years there would be the opportunity to apply these skills and experience to the remaining 1.8 million square kilometres of Imperata cylindrica wastelands that exist worldwide.
Wastelands to Economic Bonanza
Based on H2Oasis Energy?s Extraction Technology and Rapid Thermal Processing I have modelled the biomass from Imperata (foliage + rhizomes) and the Palm Oil Full Fruiting Bodies (minus the extracted blended Palm oil) and these will produce significant amounts of valuable commodities.
In 2034, there will be 136.2 million tonne of biomass, and after that there will be no more contribution from Imperata. There will be a reduction in biomass in 2035 (118.5 million tonne) before recovering in 2036 to 136.4 MT. Palm Oil contributes more biomass than Imperata.
The MODEL is based on Imperata biomass of 18 tonne/hectare and Palm Oil FFB yield at 28.6 t/ha. In the planting of our Palm Oil plantations we will have the same opportunity to select for the higher yielding seedlings.
Palm Oil FFB - Malaysia
Current: 22.2 tonne /hectare
Target by 2020: 35.0 tonne /hectare
Model DATA: 28.6 tonne /hectare
Imperata cylindrica may also yield far more biomass, as there are examples of extremely high yields of rhizomes. The MODEL can thus be considered conservative in the production of biofuel and paper!
Especially, as the focus is on rehabilitating 8 million hectares of Tropical Rainforest.
Without balancing Palm Oil Plantations with Restored Rainforest the project would be vulnerable to the environmental activists, whereas this approach will engender their support.
The MODEL does not quantify the production from the 2 million hectares of sustainable food production. Nor does it contain any benefits from the phytochemicals and lignin that will be extracted.
This Land Use transformation increases the Carbon stock by 476% and additional environmental benefits are derived from biofuel and biochar production. In the arena of ?carbon trading? this will be a bonus for the project.
Starting the project in the region of Riau ? where the annual slash and burn creates a toxic smoke haze over Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand ? could see other benefits. In 1997 the smoke haze cost the Singaporeans $9 billion in associated health costs. Each year Riau emits the equivalent of 58% of Australian Greenhouse Emissions.
A 1997 World Wildlife Fund Report states there are 900,000 hectares in Riau that could potentially be developed for plantations without cutting any more natural forest.
By 2002, Ministry of Forestry reported that the potential wasteland area had increased to 1,655,746 hectares (categorized as shrubby grass, bare soil, swampy shrubby grass, and dry land agriculture mix with grass).
Analysis of historical Landsat satellite images found that almost all of these wasteland were forested in 1985, the 1990?s, and some even as recently as 2001.
H2Oasis Energy Process Technology
With only minor variations to the processing equipment the plant can process Imperata foliage, Imperata rhizomes and Palm Oil Full Fruiting Bodies. Hence, as the balance changes between Imperata and Palm Oil only small modifications are needed.
By processing whole Palm Oil FFB there is an immediate gain in Oil production of 2.8%. This is due to the oil content in the Empty Fruiting Bodies. In traditional processing the Palm Oil nuts are processed and the EFB is discarded.
The inclusion of the EFB will also add to the RTP Green Fuel and/or Paper Pulp as it simply adds to the biomass.
On my recent tour of Thailand I observed that the Palm Oil growers were separating the nuts from the stems. The price for Palm Oil nuts was around 6 baht / kilogram.
My target is to produce bio-fuel therefore I simply want to extract as much oil as possible.
I am confident that the Counter Current Extraction will yield some additional Palm Oil while at the same time rendering the biomass dry enough to be processed into RTP Green Fuel. When CCE was applied to the wine industry an additional 40 litres of beverage wine was achieved per tonne of grapes.
This is a very clean operation and enables Imperata to yield some valuable commodities.
After the initial startup the RTP unit will generate electricity and provide process heating.
Biomass = Electricity + Biodiesel + Paper Pulp
To the end of 20 years??..
Imperata Biomass (foliage + rhizomes)
Palm Oil FFB Biomass post oil extraction
Retail Electricity Pricing
US $ per kWh
Bio-Diesel ex Extracted Palm Oil
Diesel Pump Price
US $ per litre
PAPER PULP yields
THE PIX PULP BENCHMARK INDEXES
(per metric ton)
BHK: Bleached Hardwood Kraft pulp.
Electricity + Biodiesel + Paper Pulp
Over 20 years
per hectare per year
At the end of this 20 year project we have created a 20 million hectare fully sustainable community and the Palm Oil will continue to return products (Electricity, Paper Pulp, and Bio-diesel) at the estimated value of $6,500 per hectare.
The Land Restoration Team which is now capable of replanting over 2.5 million hectares a year can relocate to the next project.
By 2035 this project would have eradicated at best 10% of the Imperata cylindrica grasslands.
The Imperata has also spread at the rate of 150,000 hectares per year and until the other 90% is transformed it will remain one of the worst weeds in the world.
For this Scenario: I will plateau the growth rate from 2041 there will be an annual restoration of 3.25 million hectares.
The eradication of Imperata cylindrica undoes the environmental damage caused by human intervention and provides a bounty of fuels.
Around the world variations in food types, conservation areas and energy crops can be modified to suit the local community.
Adding value to Imperata cylindrica helps fund its own destruction and paves the way to creating sustainable biofuel and food production, while restoring 40% of the rainforest that previously dominated these wastelands.
A great solution for the Palm Oil and Paper industries that are being heavily criticized for rainforest deforestation.
This ?discussion paper? is meant to garner interest in carrying out a project on Imperata cylindrica.
At my age, a 20 year project, will take me through to 85 and therefore it is imperative to build a network that can accomplish the complete eradication of Imperata cylindrica. I am willing to contribute my ?intellectual property? with other members of a network.
The ?ideal? would be a network where each member shares their particular skills and the built up expertise is kept within that group.
For instance, if Caterpillar assisted in the development of machinery for the removal and harvesting of Imperata rhizomes, they then would be the networks supplier for the project and any other project.
As in any project, the equipment has to be paid for, this could be achieved by payment by another network member - e.g. Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) ? OR Caterpillar could elect to invest part of the payment as equity in the project. After all, this is designed to be a commercial operation and you can only sell the machine once whereas the equity should continue to pay dividends well beyond the 20 years of the project.
I have been working towards the ?Sarment Network? where each member is represented symbolically by a single cane.
Aesop pointed out that a single stick is easily broken.
But when the sticks are closely bundled together they are impossible to break.
My vision is to form a group ? JUTE - that can also have equity in the project. This is more like a collegiate of professionals ? e.g. tropical plant experts, soil analysts, et al ? who make a contribution to the project through their specific interests.
JUTE will be linked to H2Oasis Energy Project Management which in turn will be remunerated by a combination of fees and equity.
These are my ideas, and I am open to ?structuring the projects? in any way that facilitates the commencement of this Imperata cylindrica Project. I am confident that we will gather strong supporters as it is a positive proposal into solving serious environmental issues.
The rest of the document is a collection of information that has assisted in developing the project. They are not properly referenced. The information helps to demonstrate that there are even greater opportunities for our technology.
H2Oasis Energy has other contributions for Sustainable Horticultural Communities and they are part of the musings. These can be found on the accompanying DVD.
I have no intentions of going ?public? about the benefits of eradicating Imperata cylindrica. Therefore, as you are reading this, you are among a small grouping of companies, organisations and individuals that have been targeted.
I have solved a problem that has remained an enigma for over 80 years, so let?s imagine how much ? greener? our world will be with others contributing their expertis
Rod Bourchier ? January,2014