Government assistance to alternative transport fuels

If, like me, you have often read about how the incoming excise on alternative fuels is going to make it difficult for the fledgling industry to compete against fossil fuel the following article may provide some clarity. It is a few years old so if anyone has a current version please let me know.

Government Assistance to Alternative Transport Fuels.pdf

Commonwealth of Australia 2006: Government Assistance to Alternative Transport Fuels (PDF)

In basic terms LPG, CNG, LNG, ethanol and biodiesel are excise free until 30 Jun 2011. From then on excise gets applied at different rates through to 2015 depending on the type of fuel. Click the image above to read more.

Orbital technology to be used in Brazilian flex-fuel engines

Perth based Orbital Corporation has announced that its FlexDI™ technology has been selected for a new family of high efficiency heavy duty flex-fuel engines currently being developed in Brazil. The technology will be used by Sygma Motors on two engineering programs for Vale Solutions in Energy.

The application of the FlexDI™ technology will commence with an engine test and development program supported by Orbital with a total value of $A1.6m. Also included in the scope is co-development of a spark ignited ethanol combustion system to be used in a demonstration program, and targeted for retrofit of existing diesel engine applications.

Applications include ethanol and CNG flex-fuelled internal combustion engines in the 80 to 1500 hp power generation class in Brazil. Vale Solutions in Energy intends to utilize these engines, primarily in the resources sector, in support of a clean energy strategy.

The companies will also cooperate on possible flex-fuel original equipment and retrofit applications for transportation, either with spark ignition FlexDI™ or diesel pilot ignition, for ethanol and CNG fuelling of heavy duty engines, and for the light duty commercial vehicle sector.

Sygma believe that they will be able to achieve spark ignited operation with ethanol that matches or exceeds that obtained with advanced high efficiency natural gas reciprocating engines of equivalent size.

Source: Orbital Corporation via iStockAnalyst

Australian Conference on Life Cycle Assessment

Thanks to Tom Worthington at Net Traveller for the following:

The Sixth Australian Conference on Life Cycle Assessment is in Melbourne from 16 to 19 February 2009. Life cycle assessment (LCA), assesses the environmental impacts of products and services. Unfortunately many people will not find out about this worthwhile event, due to the poor web site, so I have extracted some details below to make them more accessible.

From the Conference Program:

One aim of the conference is to build bridges between different environmental assessment methods that have a sustainability focus. This includes:

  • Life cycle assessment • Life cycle costing • Ecological footprints • Materials flow analysis
  • Triple bottom line accounting approaches • Energy and greenhouse life cycle studies
  • Input Output analysis • Uncertainty analysis in environmental assessment

The conference also aims to provide a forum for sharing LCA experience in different sectors such as:

  • Building applications
  • Waste Management
  • Water issues
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Energy and fuel production system
  • Products and packaging manufacture

Keynote Speakers

Andreas Ciroth studied Environmental Engineering in Berlin, Germany; his dissertation (Dr.-Ing.) in 2001 was on error propagation in LCA. Since
then, he has worked as a consultant and software developer, mostly in scientific projects. …

Stefanie Hellweg is Associate Professor for ecological systems design at the Institute of Environmental Engineering of ETH Zurich (Switzerland). …

Hongtao Wang College of Architecture and Environment, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China …

Bo Weidema has more than 30 years of experience in environmental issues, since joining the emerging environmental grassroots movements in 1972. …

For more information see the full summary at Net Traveller

Reading: Fuel for thought

While digging around the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) web site I discovered Fuel for thought, a publication by the Future Fuels Forum 2007. This June 2008 publication informs us how the Future Fuels Forum thinks transport fuels will pan out in our future with modelling from now to 2050.  It is an interesting document and I suggest you read it if you are at all interested in the future of transport fuels in Australia. Click the cover page below to download the PDF (1.5Mb).

challenges and opportunities (PDF)

CSIRO 2008: Fuel for thought - The future of transport fuels: challenges and opportunities (PDF)

Apart from being relatively easy to read and informative for those of us without a scientific or economic background it provides great insight into the conservative information upon which our governments are making decisions that impact your future and mine. It isn’t all conservative mind you. The modelling for a continuing rise in demand for oil and a sharp decline in supply shows we could pay as much as $8 per litre for petrol in the not too distant future and the authors do stress the urgency with which alternatives for oil must be found.

While the document was written before the global financial crisis really started to bite the bulk of it remains relevant. If you do read it I’d like to know what you think so please leave a comment.

Volvo truck engines to get Clean Air Power

UK based Clean Air Power has announced an agreement with Volvo to development and incorporate their Dual-Fuel™ technology into Volvo truck engines. Dual-Fuel™ is a patented system which enables heavy duty diesel engines to run on up to 90 percent natural gas with a small amount of diesel fuel providing the ignition source. The benefits are lower fuel costs and lower emission.

The intention of the agreement is that the resulting products will be marketed and supported by Volvo Trucks. The products will have the Clean Air Power technology fully interfaced with the Volvo engine management system and will be applied to Volvo’s D13 engine. Clean Air Power and Volvo engineers will work together to develop the products and the agreement provides for Clean Air Power to receive revenue from Volvo during the project.

Clean Air Power has over 1,600 Dual-Fuel™ installations operating in some very demanding environments around the world. Beginning in early 2007 Clean Air Power sold a minimum of 84 Dual-Fuel™ kits to Western Australian trucking company Mitchel Corp Australia Pty Ltd ( previous post). Mitchell’s fleet of LNG and diesel powered road trains (multi-trailer vehicles running at over 100 tonne gross vehicle weight) transport a range of goods on long haul journeys in and out of Perth, Geraldton and Kalgoorlie.

New Holland NH2 hydrogen fuel cell tractor

New Holland Agriculture has won a gold medal at the SIMA Innovation Awards 2009 for their NH2 hydrogen-powered tractor. The NH2 is a key element in New Holland’s Energy Independent Farm concept, a project that hopes to free farmers from the cost of purchased fossil-fuel and allow them to achieve fuel autonomy.

Based on the popular T6000, the experimental NH2 tractor replaces the internal combustion engine with hydrogen fuel cells to generate electricity, which drives electric motors to power the tractor. The NH2 tractor is a 120hp working prototype able to perform all the tasks of a T6000, while operating virtually silently and emitting only water.

New Holland NH2

New Holland NH2

The Energy Independent Farm concept envisages farmers producing their own compressed hydrogen from water, using a process called electrolysis or directly from methane by burning waste or biomass. Production systems would be powered by wind farms or solar panels and the hydrogen would be stored at the farm in underground tanks.

New Holland believe farmers are in a unique position to benefit from hydrogen technology. They have the space to install alternative electricity generation systems, such as solar, wind, biomass or waste plants, and then store that power as hydrogen. Apart from the environmental benefits, such a system would allow farmers to become energy independent and improve their financial stability, as fuel costs form a significant proportion of their operating costs.

Source: New Holland Agriculture (UK)

CNG conversions for Australian fleet vehicles

Melbourne based Advanced Fuels Technology (AFT) has successfully developed and achieved 3rd party type approval for the Toyota 4 cylinder 2.7 litre and Ford 6 cylinder 4.0 litre engines in Australia.

Arrow Energy, a coal seam gas producer in Dalby Queensland, are utilising the AFT conversions in concert with compressed coal bed methane to refuel their fleet of vehicles.

Advanced Fuels strategy is to develop Type Approved CNG engine technology for the most common fleet vehicles in Australia and has plans to have 10 engine systems developed and approved for use in Australia in the next 12 months. Currently they have completed installations on Toyota Hilux utes, Hiace vans and Corollas as well as the Ford 6 cylinder Territory.

Source: NVG Global