Australian researchers are producing the next generation biofuels for the aviation industry, using feedstocks sourced from processes in the pulp and paper industry, and even grass cuttings.
“We’re making biocrude oil out of lignocellulosic feedstock,” said Prof. Thomas Maschmeyer of the University of Sydney. He explained the procedure retains four times more energy in biocrude than is retained in bioethanol. Prof. Maschmeyer is optimistic about the technology, but admitted that the need for large quantities of biomass will require some innovative thinking.
“If we were to change all of the aviation fuels into renewable fuels, based on our process, we’d need about 10% of the world’s current agriculture production,” he said. “That’s a lot, but I can imagine that to be possible if we perhaps use macro-algae – going offshore, into salt water, and not competing with current land use, not competing with fresh water.”
Prof Maschmeyer is one of a group of researchers that the Australian government has asked to advise it on the establishment of a A$20-million (R147 million) Australian Biofuels Research Institute. – Alan Harman
Source: Farmer’s Weekly 3 June,2011
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