Alternative Fuels Australia

More information on Conservo

Posted by Car Geek on July 9, 2007

Conservo sign, photo by Nathan Cahill

Since the story was first published, we’ve had a lot of interest in Melbourne’s Conservo petrol station. Conservo markets itself as a “green” service station, offering biofuel blends and organic products. For people looking to find it and take a look for themselves, the service station is located in High St, Prahran, near Swinburne University. Read on for more details of what it offers and some photographs.

Information board, photo by Nathan Cahill

Three types of fuel are on offer: E10 (also known as “Unleaded 94”), B20 biodiesel and B100 (or pure) biodiesel. The E10 petrol is offered by Liberty, and the biodiesel is provided by Energetix. Almost any car after made after 1986, or that uses electronic fuel injection, can run on E10; any diesel-powered vehicle can use B20 and most can use B100, though Conservo recommends that you consult with them before filling up on B100 to make sure.

B100 pump at Conservo, photo by Nathan Cahill

Prices for these biofuels are similar to current petrol prices, with the unleaded E10 about two or three cents cheaper than the average price in the area on the day we visited. Diesel was approximately the same price as the biodiesel blends on this particular day.

Price board, photo by Nathan Cahill

So is it worth buying? The organic components of these fuels, at least, are Australian made and require far less energy to transport than fuel shipped from overseas. Conservo doesn’t publicise the specific environmental benefits of their fuels, but you can expect to reduce greenhouse gas lifecycle emissions by up to 4% for E10, up to 8.7% for B20 and up to 29% for B100, according to the Prime Minister’s Biofuel Taskforce. These figures are approximate based on the known sources for Conservo’s biofuels. Air pollutants can also be reduced, with all biofuels reducing CO, VOC and particulate matter emissions, though NOx is increased slightly. Additionally, you can expect a slight drop in fuel economy (approximately no more than 5%) with E10 due to its lower energy content, though this is offset entirely by the reduced cost.

B20 pump at Conservo, photo by Nathan Cahill

In short, while it’s not about to change the world, it’s a good step forward to see businesses like this appearing in high-traffic areas. Other petrol stations are starting to offer the same products, so it’s worth taking a look around your local area to see if a more environmentally friendly option is available to you.

Correction: The emissions figures are for total lifecycle emissions, not tailpipe emissions as previously stated. Tailpipe greenhouse gas reductions are estimated to be 7%, 21.6% and 98.9% for E10, B20 and B100, respectively. The difference between tailpipe and lifecycle emissions is attributed to the greenhouse gas emissions associated with production of the biodiesel from canola and tallow.


8 Responses to “More information on Conservo”

  1. Phillip Orth said

    Excellent work – finally we are going to be able to have a choice in fuel supply and usage – and why is the government so resistant to australian E85 product. Just the big petrol companies lobbying again or is there a real reason?. Engine elastomers have mostly been modified to handle ethanol blends in new model cars so there seems little reason other than big business pressure from American conglomerates.

  2. Nathan said

    Most cars sold in Australia aren’t certified for E85. E10, certainly, but not E85. It’s not really much of a technical challenge to modify the cars built and sold here to use it, but there is still unfortunately a strong public resistance to ethanol that makes it difficult for an industry that is already on the razor’s edge to justify the extra cost without the likelihood of returns. Government reluctance to make any significant alternatives to Australia’s booming fossil fuel-based energy industry available certainly plays a large part, though. It’s simply more lucrative in the short-term to support a strong industry, even if it does have a limited lifespan, than it is to subsidise the creation of an entirely new industry.

  3. […] for a good example of the kinds of cool things that are going on in your back yard, check out Conservo. I bet you didn’t think alternative fuels had come this far in Australia. Not even I did, and […]

  4. […] up, so look out for it at your local video shop or order it online. Closer to home and in Melbourne Conservo petrol station has opened. Conservo markets itself as a “green” service station, offering […]

  5. […] Source: Alternative Fuels Australia […]

  6. Murli Badlani said

    Dear Sir,

    I have been to your Petrol Station and bought your fuel. I want get you intouch for business and have my own petrol station. Can you inform me to whom I have get in touch

    Murli Badlani

  7. sweet story i am driving a car powered on water fuel to drive its good against global warming and it saves me loads of money too you check it out here: LINK

  8. Hi, can we place that article to our web site?

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