Scientists convert plant waste into valuable fuel

February 5th, 2008 - 4:22 pm ICT by admin  

Canberra, Feb 5 (ANI): Researchers at CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization) and Monash University in Australia, have developed a chemical process that turns green waste into a stable bio-crude oil, which can be used to produce high value chemicals and biofuels, including both petrol and diesel replacement fuels.

According to Dr Steven Loffler of CSIRO Forest Biosciences, By making changes to the chemical process, weve been able to create a concentrated bio-crude which is much more stable than that achieved elsewhere in the world.

This makes it practical and economical to produce bio-crude in local areas for transport to a central refinery, overcoming the high costs and greenhouse gas emissions otherwise involved in transporting bulky green wastes over long distances, he added.

Weve been able to create a concentrated bio-crude which is much more stable than that achieved elsewhere in the world, said Dr Loffler.

The process uses low value waste such as forest thinnings, crop residues, waste paper and garden waste, significant amounts of which are currently dumped in landfill or burned.

The plant wastes being targeted for conversion into biofuels contain chemicals known as lignocellulose, which is increasingly favoured around the world as a raw material for the next generation of bio-ethanol.

Lignocellulose is both renewable and potentially greenhouse gas neutral. It is predominantly found in trees and is made up of cellulose; lignin, a natural plastic; and hemicellulose.

By using waste, our Furafuel technology overcomes the food versus fuel debate which surrounds biofuels generated from grains, corn and sugar, said Dr Loffler.

CSIRO and Monash University will apply to patent the chemical processes underpinning the conversion of green wastes to bio-crude oil once final laboratory trials are completed. (ANI)

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