Optimal Group Forms Partnership With Rainbow Bee Eater (RBE)

Optimal Group is excited to announce our collaboration with Rainbow Bee Eater (RBE) as the exclusive sales & engineering partner for their ECHO2 System in Australia and New Zealand.

RBE’s ECHO2 is an innovative system that removes and locks away carbon from the atmosphere and produces a clean, net-zero renewable gas that can replace fossil fuels for heat and/or power generation. It is a unique proven patented pyrolysis system that is designed and built in Australia. Pyrolysis is the thermal process used in ECHO2 to convert organic solids such as crop residues into biochar and fuel gas.

In announcing the agreement Optimal’s Sales and Marketing Director, Kane Ravenscroft said, "We are delighted to have reached this milestone in our relationship with RBE. Their technology is truly world-leading, and we believe it has enormous applications here in Australia and internationally.” He added, “Biochar is an unparalleled method of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide as non-volatile carbon for use in multiple value-added applications. The process also produces the market's highest value tradable carbon dioxide removal certificates.” 

Syngas, the fuel gas produced in ECHO2, is a combustible, renewable gas that can be used to displace fossil fuels including natural gas, diesel, or LPG. The primary components of syngas are hydrogen, methane, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide. Unlike other pyrolysis technologies that produce hot syngas containing tars and other containments and require extensive cleanup, RBE’s ECHO2 produces clean, cool, high-quality syngas, with minimal treatment required. It is an excellent low-cost source of renewable hydrogen and can be upgraded to other renewable fuels including methanol or dimethyl ether.

RBE cofounder, peter burgess said, “ECHO2 represents more than 15 years of continuous development, and it is exciting to now see significant interest from Australian and international organisations seeking to reduce or eliminate the carbon footprint of their products. We believe there are at least 50 million tonnes per year of suitable and sustainable organic residues in Australia that are suited to RBE’s ECHO2 technology, most of which is currently burnt, left to decompose, or landfilled. Converting all this residue into biochar and clean renewable gas would represent the removal of around 10% of Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. Our partnership with Optimal will help us scale to deliver real carbon removal, lower-cost renewable energy, healthy soils, and regional employment opportunities across Australia, before launching the product to a global market”.

ECHO2 utilises a unique, patented counterflow process, which combines efficiency, simplicity, and performance. Hot syngas leaving the pyrolysis chamber exits through a packed bed of the incoming feedstock, which cleans and cools the syngas while simultaneously heating the feedstock entering the chamber. This achieves very high conversion efficiency of the biomass into biochar and syngas with very low energy consumption. ECHO2 is a modular technology and can be scaled to meet each application, which reduces project and capital risk. This modular design provides opportunities to use stranded biomass and to adapt to behind-the-meter energy generation opportunities. ECHO2 syngas can be combusted directly or cooled further to condense out wood vinegar that has multiple uses in agriculture and horticulture as a bio-stimulant.