Zeotech’s key role in the Australian government’s net zero emissions plan looks promising, after early results from its pilot-scale soil carbon and nutrient retention trials.

Early results from the three-month trials, undertaken by Griffith University and completed in February, highlight the potential for the company’s synthetic zeolites – commonly known as molecular sieves – to sequester long-term soil carbon.

This is exciting given that soil carbon sequestration has been flagged by the federal government as one of the key contributors towards achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Zeotech (ASX:ZEO) managing director Peter Zardo notes the promising data will inform the design of larger trials to commence within weeks.

“(The results) further validate Zeotech’s commitment to developing solutions to enhance sustainable farm productivity and expand carbon market opportunities for the agricultural sector,” he told Stockhead.

Griffith University’s Dr Chris Pratt said achieving organic soil carbon protection levels averaging 25% compared with controls as well as high nutrient carrying capacity and slow-release potential were exciting early findings.

“The results increase confidence in achieving desired outcomes in the comprehensive program underway at Griffith, aimed at research targeting the development of Zeotech products for improved fertilizer delivery and enhanced soil carbon retention,” he added.


Testing highlights

Griffith’s pilot trials found that Zeotech’s synthetic zeolites consistently exhibited higher organic matter/carbon content than controls for all soil and organic amendment conditions.

They also proved to be significantly more effective at protecting against organic matter/carbon loss than natural minerals such as natural zeolite and bentonite, which further highlights their potential to act as carbon storage.

On the nutrient front, Zeotech’s samples exhibited high nutrient carrying capacity approaching 10% by weight with nitrogen carrying capacity observed at about two times greater, and phosphorous up to five times greater when compared to natural minerals.

Desorption results also indicate that a small proportion of the zeolite-held nutrients are immediately available to plants, highlighting the potential for a controlled (slow release) delivery of nutrients to plants in the soil environment.


Upcoming activity

Griffith’s comprehensive trials will run concurrently and comprise of two streams of agricultural product development, products with enhanced soil carbon storage that seek to capture a substantial share of the carbon mitigation market and products to improve agricultural nutrient management.

As part of these efforts, Zeotech’s continued proprietary process refinement has already produced samples of a lower cost Type A zeolite designed specifically for agricultural applications, aimed at delivering on-farm economics that will support product adoption.


This article was developed in collaboration with Zeotech, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.