4 April 2016 – Queensland has green-lighted a new $16 million advanced biofuels pilot plant to be built at the Southern Oil Refining’s Yarwun Plant in Gladstone, Australia. This announcement builds on the momentum of Queenland’s recent declaration of an ethanol and biodiesel road transport mandate starting January 2017.
Why is this important to the deployment of alternative jet fuel?
The plant, which if successful will be expanded into a $150 million commercial-scale refinery capable of producing 200 million liters of advanced biofuel annually, solidifies Queensland’s stake in the renewable fuel future of the United States and Australian Navy. Over the next three years, the plant aims to produce over a million liters of biofuel from waste lube oil and biomass for use in U.S. Navy Great Green Fleet and Australian Navy field trials. The construction of the plant will diversify the Queensland economy and create jobs while ensuring Australian biofuels’ place in the future global fuel supply chain. Dr. Susan Pond, School of Engineering and Information Technologies at the University of Sydney, noted that, “Australia has the opportunity to be a leader in biofuel production. We have world-class and diverse agricultural production systems that already produce the requisite feedstocks. We have world-class capabilities in science, technology, engineering.”
How is CAAFI involved?
In January 2016, the CAAFI Qualification team and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the agency funding the project, discussed the plant’s biofuel production pathways and feedstocks. The plant will convert native Australian biomass into biocrude that will be distilled into kerosene and diesel through hydrothermal liquefaction. The production technology source has not been released. As an initial step toward commercialization, CAAFI and ARENA will participate in the June meeting of the ASTM Subcommittee on Emerging Turbine Fuels. CAAFI also works closely with the Australian Initiative for Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel. Find additional information here.