ARENA backs Australia’s 1st biorefinery lab

Testing biofuels. Author: Official U.S. Navy Page. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

June 23 (SeeNews) - The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) said Thursday it will help finance Southern Oil Refining Pty Ltd’s (SOR) biocrude and biofuel test laboratory in the state of Queensland.

ARENA is contributing up to AUD 2.4 million (USD 1.8m/EUR 1.6m) towards the development and construction of the facility in Yarwun town. Once completed in March 2019, the AUD-5.3-million laboratory will be used to gather information about the feasibility and design of a proposed commercial-scale biorefinery in the country.

The project paves the way for Australia’s first biorefinery capable of producing renewable diesel and jet fuels from plant material. It will also help for the establishment of new protocols for the conversion of biocrudes to drop-in fuels.

“Our agricultural industries have an abundance of plant waste that can be ideal biocrude feedstock and there are several potential markets for selling green fuels including aviation, shipping and defence,” ARENA CEO, Ivor Frischknecht, said.

Previously, ARENA backed local firms Muradel and Licella to develop biocrude production technologies, but there is still no way of refining it into large quantities of useable biofuels, Frischknecht added. SOR has already entered into agreements with its peers for the supply of biocrude for refining.

(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.759/EUR 0.667)

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