CSIRO and Monash University researchers have developed a process called Furafuel that can be used to produce gasoline and diesel fuel from “green waste”, i.e. forest trimmings, crop residues, and waste paper, most of which currently ends up in landfills.
“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”, CSIRO Forest Biosciences scientist Dr Steven Loffler said.
Previous research into this area has produced oils that weren’t particularly stable. This is where the CSIRO process is different. According to Dr. Loffler, it produces oil that is stable and PH neutral, so it can be kept in storage until its needed. CSIRO sees this discovery leading to the creation of a bunch of small regional processing facilities close to the source of the bio-mass. The waste products can be converted into crude oil, and then the oil can be shipped to to refineries. That’s a lot cheaper than shipping the biomass.