An Australian-first trial using 100 percent renewable diesel from old vehicle tyres, agricultural and forestry waste, biosolids and plastics, to fuel a Scania test engine is underway.
With support from the Palaszczuk Government’s Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund, Southern Oil will pioneer the refining of renewable diesel fuel from the materials.
The high-end Scania V8 test engine is being used in its power generation configuration for the testing – allowing assessment of exhaust emissions, performance and response, fuel efficiency, cost and engine lifetime.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says her government is committed to creating a sustainable, export driven biofutures industry in Queensland.
“A state-based renewable fuels industry would underpin Queensland’s domestic fuel security for decades to come,” she said.
She said that over the next 12 to 18 months, Southern Oil will be trialling renewable diesel in the test engine to show it performs identically to petroleum-based diesel in terms of performance and wear-and-tear on the engine.
“Southern Oil is also aiming to build a commercial-scale renewable fuel refinery within five years, which would create significant job opportunities and improve domestic fuel security for our state.
“This trial is a critical milestone for the development of the renewable fuel industry in Queensland,” she said.
“Warranty by an original equipment manufacturer like Scania is also crucial to commercialisation and uptake of the fuel, as it must have the identical performance and characteristics of fossil fuel.”
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As a result of the trial, renewable fuels company SynBio, a wholly owned subsidiary of South Oil, will relocate from New South Wales to Queensland.
The move will create 11 direct and 25 indirect jobs for the state. Before warranty is secured, an estimated one million litres of the renewable diesel will be trialled at Southern Oil’s advanced biofuels laboratory – a leading facility of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
Infrastructure and Planning Minister Cameron Dick said the government will deliver one billion to sustainable and export-orientated biotechnology and byproducts by 2026.
Southern Oil Refinery and SynBio Managing Director Tim Rose said Queensland is leading the country in biofutures and renewable fuels.
“We’re witnessing the first step toward proving renewable diesel refined in Queensland from waste products can be chemically indistinguishable from petroleum-based diesel,” Mr Rose said.
“Having a company like Scania endorse our fuel is crucial to creating commercial demand for our diesel and moving from pilot scale into demonstration scale.
“Today’s demonstration shows there’s a huge opportunity to produce 100 per cent renewable diesel fuel in Queensland from waste.
“We could also see a reduction in industry’s reliance on fossil fuels.”
Scania Australia National Manager (Engines) Andre Arm said the company was proud to be a global leader in the shift towards a sustainable transport future.
“We have developed our heavy-duty commercial vehicle, marine and industrial engines to be able to run on a variety of renewable or alternative fuels with no loss of performance or economy, while also reducing our emissions impact,” Mr Arm said.
“Scania is delighted to be a partner in the proving of this concept.”