From cane tops and trash to biofuel
Southern Oil’s Gladstone facility is already creating opportunities further afield with the announcement that the Palaszczuk Government will provide $125,000 in Advance Queensland funding to Burdekin Renewable Fuels.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who this week attended the international BIO 2017 conference in San Diego, said Burdekin Renewable fuels was one of six recipients that would help put Queensland at the forefront of the global bioindustrial revolution.
“Burdekin Renewable Fuels aims to produce pellets from cane tops and trash for biorefining,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“They will supply samples to Northern Oil Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant in Gladstone, Proton Power and other potential renewable fuel producers to establish conversion factors for assessing the cost of production.
“The Burdekin region has around one million tonnes per year of cane tops and trash.
“Cane growers from the Burdekin region have long sought to avoid burning before harvest but have been constrained by the lack of alternative use for cane tops and trash.
“It is intended to produce pellets to be used as fuel for renewable electricity generation and as a source for renewable fuel.”
Technology to be assessed includes:
- cane tops and trash separation from cane billets
- transport from the farm to the pellet plant
- pelleting of cane tops and trash
- logistics options for delivery of pellets to Japan (ship) and Gladstone (road/rail)
Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said the project was funded out of the Advance Queensland $5 million Biofutures Commercialisation Program.
Ms Enoch said the BCP, part of the Advance Queensland Biofutures Roadmap, set out to increase the capability and scale of the biofutures industry in Queensland.
“We want to see the biofutures industry grow in Queensland,” Ms Enoch said.
“That’s why we’re prepared to invest in people and companies with new ideas to get new technologies up and running.”