The Yeomans ‘Carbon Still’ is currently on display at Monash University Museum of Art “Shapes of Knowledge” exhibition. 

ALLAN Yeomans’ invention, the ‘Yeomans Carbon Still’, was designed by Mr Yeomans to measure the carbon content of soils.

The still is intended to be used by farmers as a means of quantifying the carbon sequestration performed through their agriculture practices.

In a future carbon economy, farmers could possibly be paid for drawing down carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through regenerative farming. According to Allan Yeomans, up until now soil carbon testing procedures have been complex and prohibitively expensive, meaning payments to farmers could be cancelled out by the cost of carbon measuring itself.


During the ‘Shapes of Knowledge’ exhibition presented by Shapes of Knowledge artist Lucas Ihlein at Monash University – Caulfield Campus, a working model of the Yeomans Carbon Still is on display and is being used to test the carbon content of soils of various farms throughout regional Victoria.

Excursions to collect the soil samples may involve Monash University students, scholars and members of the wider community and will double as opportunities for learning about regenerative farming processes more broadly.

Alongside these material investigations, public discussions will take place in the gallery involving engineers, climate scientists and carbon farming advocates about the potential viability (economic, legal, botanical) of an agricultural approach to carbon sequestration.

While the Yeomans Carbon Still is not yet an approved methodology for testing soil carbon, part of what Ihlein aims to do at MUMA is to explore the viability of getting the Carbon Still accredited by the Australian Government.

The still is currently on display at the Monash University, Caulfield Campus, Melbourne, Victoria until April 13, 2019. Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday: 10am-5pm and Saturdays: 12-5pm; Open to all. Cost free.

Public Programs 
Soil Carbon Testing with the Yeomans – Carbon Still Live demonstration, Thursday 7 March, 10am-3pm
Soil Carbon Testing with the Yeomans – Carbon Still Live demonstration, Friday 8 March, 10am-3pm
Soil Carbon Testing with the Yeomans – Carbon Still Live demonstration, Thursday 21 March, 10am-3pm
Soil Carbon Testing with the Yeomans – Carbon Still Live demonstration, Friday 22 March, 10am-3pm
Soil Sampling Field Trip, Saturday March 9, 10am – 4pm
MADA Art Forum: Lucas Ihlein, Wednesday March 20, 1-2pm
Soil and the Carbon Economy: Roundtable Discussion, Saturday March 23, 2-4pm

Note: Allan Yeomans will be on Caulfield Campus during the ‘Yeomans Carbon Still’ live demonstrations from 10am to 3pm on the following days: Thursday March 7, Friday March 8, Thursday March 21 and Friday March 22. All other days it will be a static display

WHERE: MUMA | Monash University Museum of Art “Shapes of Knowledge”
Monash University Museum of Art
Ground Floor, Building F
900 Dandenong Rd, Caulfield East VIC 3145

This new project of Lucas Ihlein builds on his long-term research into agriculture. For further information click here

Footnote from Allan Yeomans

Yeomans Carbon Still using Loss On Ignition (LOI)

  • Big 2,000 grams sample size
  • Dries sample in 30 minutes to 100°C
  • LOI Temperatures – 350°C to 550°C
  • Complete LOI in 60 to 90 minutes
  • Integral weighing in-situ at 100°C
  • Accuracy 1/1000

No laboratory needed. Farm shed OK.

With accurate infield sampling kit. Powered 4 inch auger. Powered mixer, Sampling sieves.

Yeomans LOI Soil “Carbon Still”© test takes two hours. Accepts huge 2,000 gram test sample. 550°C

“The urgent problem is getting rid of the excess carbon dioxide that’s already there. Soil can do that, emissions reductions must become zero, but that can be phased in over the next two to three decades,” Allan Yeomans.