Authors: Ling, E; Guzzomi, AL; Merritt, DJ; Renton, M; Erickson, TE

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Ling, E, Guzzomi, AL, Merritt, DJ, Renton, M & Erickson, TE 2019, 'Flash flaming technology shows promise to improve seed-based rehabilitation outcomes', in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 175-184.

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The success of mine site rehabilitation using native seeds is hampered by poor seedling establishment. Seed enhancement treatments including seed coatings and pelleting form one strategy to improve establishment. However, for some seeds, particularly those of grasses, irregular shapes and surface features of covering floret structures are difficult to remove at commercial scales and these features hinder both the polymer seed coating process and the ‘flowability’ of material through mechanical sowing equipment. A flash flaming technique has recently been developed which effectively removes these surface features from Triodia (spinifex) florets. Tests show flaming imparts a significant volume reduction in seed collections, increases the bulk density, and improves the ‘flowability’ of treated florets, with little to no alteration to the viability of seeds. Current work is extending the application of flaming to additional genera with problematic features including those of Ptilotus, Cymbopogon, Eriachne, Stirlingia, Chloris, Rytidosperma, and Gomphrena. Different methods of flash flaming are being investigated to determine the optimum settings for each species to achieve a balance in ‘flowability’, seed survivability, and improvement in floret volume and bulk density. Future work is aimed at further improving the flash flaming method and testing the flow of treated seed material through commercial-scale seeding machinery.

Keywords: mine site rehabilitation, direct seeding, flash flaming, commercial-scale, ‘flowability’, volume reduction, bulk density

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