Tree based biodiesel near Mt Isa?

The ABC is reporting that a company called Australian Phytofuel will begin trials growing kalpa trees at Mount Isa this month for the purpose of producing biodiesel.

A quick Internet search didn’t find any useful information on kalpa trees or Australian Phytofuel so if anyone has more information on either please leave a comment to let me know.

Source: ABC

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5 Responses

  1. Dear Luke,

    Firstly, congratulations on celebrating your 1st year anniversary with your Envirofuel website – I don’t know how many information sources you monitor but you’re providing an excellent service for us all. I have learnt a great deal in just the past few weeks by reading your daily news items. Keep up the great work!

    Secondly, like you I was intrigued when I saw this note about trialling growing kalpa trees, particularly given its spiritual link as “the tree of life” or “wishing tree” which seems appropriate enough to me.

    However, further internet digging has revealed that perhaps it is linked to the coconut palm tree, as the Sanskrit for this is “kalpa vriksha”.

    You would know better than I but I think there’s quite a bit of research already being done in Australia on the biofuel potential of coconut oil.

    In particular, I see that the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Wollongong have done tests on blends of coconut oil with diesel, kerosene and ethanol. See this link: http://www.kokonutpacific.com.au/OilSales/OilIndex.html?Oilcoconutoil/OilCNOindex.htm .

    This may not provide all the answer for the mystery of the “kalpa tree” but hopefully it gets us a bit further along the path.

    Look forward to reading further news on this trial.

    Best wishes.

    David Willey

  2. Thanks for your positive feedback David. I’m happy to hear you like Envirofuel.

    My first thought is that coconut palms would be difficult to grow near Mt Isa but stranger things have happened. Second is why would you call it kalpa when everyone knows it as coconut?

    That said, I have read that filtered coconut oil is being used across the pacific to run diesel engines.

    Coconut oil powering an alternative in the Pacific

    I can’t remember reading anything about Australian research into using coconut oil as a biodiesel feedstock although a quick search reveals BlueDiesel has turned coconut oil into biodiesel.

    Luke

  3. coconut oil to biodiesel is not hard it has been a feedstock in trial for some time for the pacific nations unfortunatly it is also an export item and as such not a good chioice for biodiesel feedstock as the price will be volitile as has happened in asia with palm oil.

    Blue diesel process is complicated and the processor is way to big and the cost bof energy to run it will far outway to savings and benefits of using biodiesel

  4. Hi Luke,

    On a whim I entered http://www.Phytofuel.com.au into my browser and there appears to be a website in existence – and according to the free ASIC records the company is currently registered in Qld. So my advice would be to get on to the company’s website and contact Marshall Mackay, who is listed on the site as the contact person.

    Cheers,

    Sam

  5. Hi Sam,

    Thanks for the heads up on Phytofuel. I’ll drop them a line and see if a response is forthcoming.

    Luke

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