BioCube – Seeds in, biodiesel out

Every now and then you come across something that resonates with your current thought processes. For me the BioCube is one of those things. Here is an Australian product that fills the rather large gap between home biodiesel kits and large commercial scale processing plants. It is self contained, easy to operate, uses most oil-bearing seeds and fruits as feedstock and produces high quality biodiesel. It runs on its own biodiesel and you put the seeds in and get biodiesel out. Brilliantly simple.

The BioCube is being developed by  The Biofuel Partnership. The BioCube in the picture below is the original prototype. The Biofuel Partnership is weeks away from completion of their first production BioCube which will be used for further testing to refine the final product.

BioCube prototype

BioCube prototype

The reason I find the BioCube so exciting is that it is such a great example of an appropriate technology for the people who will use it. It has been designed to be used by individuals and communities that grow biodiesel feedstocks. As such it has obvious applicability to farmers and farming communities all over the world for the production of fuel for local consumption. It can be operated by semi-skilled labour after a minimum of training and can, with good quality feedstock, produce up to 4,000 litres of  EN 14214 biodiesel per day. One BioCube has the potential to provide the fuel requirements for a community of 400 to 500 people.

The Biofuel Partnership have been working closely with manufacturing design partners EDAG Australia who have been commissioned to develop the first mass-manufactured models in early 2009. Once sales of the BioCube are established The Biofuel Partnership plan to begin manufacturing under license in key regional markets such as India and China.

The Biofuel Partnership has already received significant interest from Australia, Asia, Africa and North and South America for the BioCube. Personally, I’d like to see one of these set up on an Australian farm in the short term to demonstrate the viability of on-farm biodiesel production.

You can read more about the BioCube on the The New Inventors and on The Biofuel Partnership web site.

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