Alternative Fuels Australia

Australia losing chance to develop biofuels

Posted by Car Geek on September 25, 2007

A lack of support from state and federal governments is putting Australia at risk of falling well behind the rest of the world in biofuel research and production, according to one researcher.

Dr Stephen Clarke, a chemistry lecturer at Flinders University who is currently attempting to set up a national biofuels research facility in South Australia, says that research is accelerating quickly in the United States thanks to strong influence from state and federal governments.

“There are 148 major biodiesel plants operating in the U.S. and by 2012, 50 per cent of all new vehicles produced in the US will run on biofuel – E85 and biodiesel – with 20 per cent of expensive, imported petroleum fuels being replaced with biofuels grown and manufactured in the USA,” Dr Clarke said.

Currently Australia has a goal of 350 ML of biofuels being produced by 2010, which amounts to just one per cent of total fuel consumption. Dr Clarke hopes that his research, which involves the conversion of animal fat to biodiesel, has received funding from private institutes such as Meat and Livestock Australia but has not yet received a positive response from his proposals to government.

Biodiesel from animal fat, also known as tallow, is recognised by reports on the Australian Greenhouse Office’s website as one of the least polluting biofuels due to much lower upstream emissions, requiring relatively few fossil fuels in its production when compared to plant-based biofuels.

(Source: Adelaide Now)

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