A material for the future
While macadamia nuts are a delicious treat, our growers know that macadamia husks and shells are also an incredibly valuable resource. Once thought of as a waste product, the industry now uses the soft outer husks of the nuts as compost for orchards, enriching the soil and providing nutrients to the trees. This on-farm recycling helps add organic matter to the soil and helps to naturally sequester carbon.
The notoriously hard macadamia shells were once thrown away. However, they are now recycled in a growing number of amazing ways.
- One large macadamia producer in Bundaberg burns the macadamia shells in a specially controlled environment which not only creates heat to dry the kernels, it also creates electricity to power their cracking plant!
- Burning the shells at a high temperature in a low oxygen environment creates biochar, a natural high-carbon fertilizer that enriches the soil as well as naturally storing carbon rather than emitting it.
- Macadamia shells have been used to make building products like particle board as well as carbon filters and industrial nano-powders.
- Medical charcoal derived from macadamia shells has been used as an effective hospital treatment for some poisoning patients.
Read more about the many marvellous uses for macadamia shells here.
Food, Form and Function
Artist and craftsman Marc Harrison features both macadamia shells and macadamia wood in his unique and beautiful homewares and furnishings that showcase the beauty and versatility of our native nut tree.