Bushfires, bioenergy, emissions

Flammability Lab

Flammability refers to the ability of a substance to ignite and burn when exposed to a source of heat, flame, or spark. It is a crucial characteristic to consider when investigating landscape and garden-scale bush fire risk.

This facility provides a platform for conducting assessments of plant flammability using either open-table or purpose built plant BBQ style burns to quantify fire activity from ignitability through to intensity and duration of burn.

It doesn't stop there we have capacity to undertake controlled experiments opens the research door to a diverse audience from palaeoecologists interested in charcoal to analytical chemists interested in wildfire markers and trace elements.

John Todd Bioenergy Lab

In Australia and New Zealand domestic wood heater emissions contribute to a substantial community burden of air pollution related illness and death. The most recent estimate from the NHMRC Centre for Safe Air is that more than 1000 lives are lost annually due to woodsmoke pollution, with at least 60 from Tasmania.

The aim of FireLab3 Bioenergy Lab is to support research to reduce the burden of illness from this pollution source including approaches such as: (1) investigating the feasibility of adapting NZ's Canterbury One Method (CM1) for Australian hardwood fuels, (2) Evaluation of alternative technology options for cleaner fire ignitions, catalysed combustion or flue-based scrubbers, all of which hold promise for substantial reduction in emissions.

The commissioning of the facility during 2023 has come at a crucial time for policy reform in Australia and we are excited to be commencing research in this area.

Alison Venn Exposure Lab

Coming Soon to FireLab3.

The Venn Lab is a specialised controlled smoke exposure and characterisation lab. When launched this unique research facility will deliver on various smoke exposure projects from epidemiology and public health to smoke taint and environmental impacts of wildfire and landscape fire management.

With capacity to select from either a bush-fuel or wood heater emissions source, this truly diverse multi-disciplinary research space will deepen our understanding of the health and environmental impacts of smoke-polluted air, enabling us to test the effectiveness of public health interventions to inform policy and future mitigation strategies, develop solutions to enable industry adaptation and management, and engineer solutions for reduced emissions.

Currently in the design and capital funding phase during 2023. Watch this space for updates.

Fire Centre Research Hub, The University of Tasmania
Private Bag 55, Hobart TAS 7001, Australia
Acknowledgement of Country:
‘The Fire Centre acknowledges the Palawa and Pakana people as the traditional and ongoing custodians of lutruwita (Tasmania), paying respect to their culture and identity which has been bound up with the Land, Sea, Waterways and Sky for generations. The Fire Centre commits to being culturally inclusive and respectful in our relationships”
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