Furafuel process turns biomass into bio-crude

The CSIRO and Monash University have developed a chemical process that turns green waste into a stable bio-crude oil. The bio-crude oil can be used to produce high value chemicals and biofuels, including petrol and diesel replacement fuels.

Dr Steven Loffler of CSIRO Forest Biosciences said:

By making changes to the chemical process, we’ve 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.

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.

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

The project forms part of CSIRO’s commitment to delivering cleaner energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by improving technologies for converting waste biomass to transport fuels.

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.

Dr Steven Loffler

Dr Steven Loffler (Photo credit: CSIRO)

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.

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.

Source: CSIRO, News.com.au

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3 Responses

  1. This is a very good technique and I am eager to know more about this……….

  2. I”ve got tons of oak leaves and tree branches that need cleaning up each season.

    When can I get a hold of this process.

  3. I think what we need to do with this is build it as a processing plant on a rail car.

    Then the processing unit and freight cars go to the biomass, synthetic crude goes back to the refinery, and presto the biomass bulk density / low energy density / transport distance problems disappear.

    Cheers.

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