Biofuel & Mulch Services & Products

Biofuel & Mulch

We are fully equipped to convert wood chips to mulch and biofuel. We will supply it as required by the client, anywhere in Southern Africa.

Processes that can utilise biomass waste

  • Direct combustion replacing coal and oil fuels – to generate heat, steam and electricity
  • Lower quality industrial wood pellets
  • Manufacturing of charcoal
  • Biochar that can be used as fertiliser additive
  • Briquetting of wood waste or charcoal
  • Livestock bedding and for use in stables and poultry sheds
  • Packaging and filling material
  • Biogas production as a by-product of biochar manufacture

How to you get mulch back into your orchard?

Africa Biomass Company has a patented mulch spreader that is specifically designed with the farmer in mind. Our unique mulch spreader is towed behind a tractor and the mulch, or wood chips, is then spread in the orchard at the bases of the trees or vineyards.

This way you can put back the mulch – in a fast, effective and productive operation.

Benefits of Mulching

Retains soil moisture

Mulched soil contains moisture for longer periods due to less evapotranspiration. Mulching prevents weed growth, thus saving water.

Prevents soil erosion

Mulching provides a layer acting as a barrier breaking the fall of rainwater and therefore lessening the force of water impact on the soil. Soil erosion is also reduced due to less runoff and a higher infiltration of rainwater.

Provides for temperature and moisture moderation in soil

Mulching provides a protective layer, decreasing exposure of soil to weather elements such as the wind and extreme temperatures. This promotes moderate soil temperatures and moisture content, which in turn encourage earthworm activity.

Suppresses weed germination and growth

Mulch acts as a barrier, limiting sunlight finding its way to stimulate weed germination. Insufficient level of sunlight can cause weed seeds to remain dormant or die after germination. Suppression of weeds contributes to higher yields in fruit, flower and crop production, by decreasing root competition for nutrients.

Alternative to herbicides in weed control

Nowadays, there is increasing pressure on producers to reduce their use of herbicides. Mulching provides an environmentally friendly and cost-saving solution for controlling weeds.

Enhances microbiology in soil

Applying organic mulches increases the organic matter in the soil. Mulching prevents soil compaction and improves the porosity of soil by improved water infiltration. Higher soil porosity is important for absorption of nutrients, as well as earthworm activity. By increasing earthwork activity, the structure and fertility of the soil are improved. Soil fertility is improved by worm castings that are richer than the surrounding soil, containing nutrients changed into forms that are more effectively absorbed by plants. Burrows caused by earthworm activity create passages for air, water and roots. Earthworms mix the soil as they create burrows, soil organic matter and humus.

Reduces volume of applied fertiliser

A layer of mulch keeps nutrients from being washed away. Organic mulch can release nutrients into the soil as the organic material decomposes. Studies carried out on apples found that mulching improves fruit size as well as calcium and potassium concentration. Studies have found that mulch also improves the absorption of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium from the soil.

Improves yield and nutrition in fruit production

With improved soil biology, the spreading of roots through a larger soil volume increases the absorption of nutrients, which leads to an increased yield. Studies have found that mulching improves average fruit size and a high return bloom in the consecutive season.

Improves root and vegetative growth

Improved soil conditions promote root growth, and in turn have a positive effect on vegetative growth. Studies conducted by Baxter (1970) on peach and apple trees in Australia showed up to 63% improvement to non-mulched trees.

Practical Tips

  • Apply mulch 50 – 100 mm thick
  • Do not pile mulch against trunks or stems
  • Do not work fresh wood chips into the soil
  • Do not plant in wood chips directly

Literature cited

  • Thesis presented by Johannes David Prins van der Merwe, in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in the Faculty of Agriculture at the Stellenbosch University
  • Trials conducted at Lourensford Estate, Somerset West
  • Reference made to studies carried out by Szewczuk and Gudarowska (2004)
  • Reference mad to studies carried out by Achaya and Sharma (1994)

Coal & Wood Chips