Can PGX Change the World?

Every entrepreneur has the vision they can change the world.  We at PGX believe we can change the world, for the better, one plant at a time!

Globally, every single day, Mankind strips away 35,000ha of forest.  Every day our remaining forests process 35,000,000 less tonnes of CO2; and every day the world’s remaining forests generate 93,000,000 less tonnes oxygen than they did the day before.

We’re destroying the lungs of our Earth.  (This is a key thesis in our headline PolyGenomX Video.)

To reverse this we must plant more trees than we cut down, but without the promise of short term gains humans are generally slow to act – even when that is in our own long-term interests.

Fortunately, PGX plants come with a promise of significant, short-term gains for anyone engaged in a plant-based enterprise.  30% increase in yield, or three harvests in place of two – all for no increase in inputs – promises huge increases in profits.  Strong incentives to use more of our plants.

Fortunately, they also come with incidental short-term gains for our environment.  An exponential 30%-50% increase in biomass means a 30%-50% increase in carbon dioxide extracted from our atmosphere, and a 30%-50% increase in oxygen, water vapour, and rain-forming nuclei.  This translates to increased cloud cover, increased rainfall, and decreased temperatures and, because they offer a more profitable alternative, may also reduce the destruction of old growth forests and native habitat.

Regardless of how sophisticated we are, at base we eat either plants or animals that eat plants. In the absence of plants neither coal, nor iron ore nor gold will sustain us.  Using more of our plants can.

Healing Japan – using PGX Plants

We were recently asked by a potential partner: “What is the current relevance of PolyGenomX technology for Japan?

By way of at least opening discussion on the topic, the following three applications suggest themselves to us:

1. Salt-tolerant rice: Given the impact of seawater inundation on coastal rice growing areas in Japan (and other countries), there is an obvious need for the development of deeply salt-tolerant rice varieties as a key component to returning these areas to agriculture, to production and to prosperity as a foundation for the restoration and healing of affected communities. PolyGenomX (PGX) has the demonstrated capacity to develop deeply salt-tolerant varieties of any plant and is now documenting a recent project based on Arundo donax (Giant Reed which, like rice, is a monocotyledon). The plants developed in that project are capable of thriving in salt concentrations half that of seawater, breaking the salt down into its component elements and leaving no waste salt in their environment.

2. Bioremediation of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster zone:  The failure of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear powerplant contaminated ground and ocean waters within a radius of 30-50 km with significant amounts of radioactive material including caesium-137, resulting in a ban on the sale of food grown in the area.  In the case of Chernobyl (estimated to have had 10 times the fall out of Fukushima) efforts have been applied to using Industrial Hemp as a “bio sponge” to take up the radioactive dust lying on and in the top couple of millimetres of ground in the fallout zone.  PGX believes that there may be greater value in using salt tolerant Giant Reed to desalinate the soil, simultaneously providing an immediate income from abundant biomass and/or biofuel in the process. The reed is the idea renewable energy feedstock for cellulosic digestion to ethanol, or for gasification to syngas and will concentrate radioactive waste for extraction during the energy generation processes.

3. Polygenomic Paulownia  as a valued timber stock: Paulownia tomentosa (also known as kiri, Empress Tree or Princess Tree) is a versatile, fast-growing tree particularly suited to Japan’s environment and culture, and offers a range valuable applications from furniture, carved artefacts and stringed instruments to renewable energy in the form of biomass, syngas and ethanol, and its large leaves hold sufficient protein as to provide high quality cattle fodder. PGX has developed uniquely salt-tolerant varieties of this species (though at lower tolerance levels than Giant Reed – 5g/L for Paulownia Reed vs 16g/L for reed before yield quality and quantity are affected). PGX has developed polygenomic varieties of Paulownia designed to suit various environments and applications and this tree may form a valuable diversification element for an integrated bioremediation strategy of the tsunami zone to bring those lands back into production immediately – and into normality within a relatively short timeframe.

We  would welcome the opportunity to apply our technology and know-how to these large challenges… which aren’t isolated to Japan!

Researchers warn delays thwart efforts to save Indonesia’s environment

 by Tom Arup

March 27, 2012

Destroyed … Kalimantan peat swamp.

A $47 million Australian government project to restore Indonesian forests and peatland to protect large carbon stores has been quietly scaled back and is failing to meet even its modest revised goals, new research has found.

The findings follow an investigation by ANU academics Erik Olbrei and Stephen Howes into the progress of the Kalimantan Forests and Climate Partnerships project, launched in 2007 by the Howard government and since continued under Labor.

The project had originally aimed to re-flood 200,000 hectares of dried peatland, protect 70,000 hectares of peat forests, and plant 100 million trees in Central Kalimantan.

But in a new paper, the researchers say advice they received from AusAid officials in February suggests that now just over 10 per cent – or 25,000 hectares – of the original 200,000 hectares of peatland is expected to be re-flooded.

The authors also say to date only 50,000 trees have been replanted, well short of the 100 million target first touted.

There has also been little progress on removing large canals to drive the peatland re-flooding, due to delays around local environment permits.

Professor Howes and Mr Olbrei said delays in implementing many elements of the project would mean ”in our judgment, it is unlikely that the project, even in its scaled-back form, will be complete by July 2013”

The Kalimantan project is part of a $273 million government program to develop global action on reducing deforestation and developing a forest carbon offset market.

The researchers said the slow progress of such projects compared with the rapid rate of deforestation and peatland destruction in Indonesia, meant current approaches were not working. They recommended that if Australia decided to remain in the project it should be more ambitious, supported by high-level policy dialogue and larger public funds.

A spokesman for the Department of Climate Change said they were working with the Indonesian government to deliver on the objectives of the Kalimantan project in as short a time as possible, but did not have any plans to increase funding.

”As an innovative project, the Kalimantan Forests and Climate Partnerships is trialling new approaches.

”There have been challenges during the project so far; we are using those to learn and improve our approaches,” the spokesman said.

– Interesting follow up to this story is that PolyGenomX has previously developed a Eucalyptus robusta specifically for growing in the Peat Swamps of Borneo!


CSG – what’s really going on?

The ABC recently released a very indepth page on their website looking at all the issues arising from the contentious Coal Seam gas industry.

You can find it here;

PolyGenomX has a range of unique biological solutions for dealing with the salt and other contaminants that are released through the process of dewatering to capture the gas. For a brief overview click here.