CSIRO and Monash University announced that they have developed a chemical process that turns green waste into a stable bio-crude oil.
Bio-crude works in much the same way as crude oil, making it economical to produce bio-crude in local areas for transport to a central biorefinery for further processing, rather than transporting bulky green waste to the refinery.
The bio-crude oil can be used to produce high value chemicals and biofuels, including both petrol and diesel replacement fuels.
“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,”
-- Dr Steven Loffler of CSIRO Forest Biosciences.
The process uses low value waste such as forest thinnings, crop residues, waste paper and garden waste, significant amounts of which are currently dumped in landfill or burned.
According to Biopact bio-crude oil is a next-generation biofuel obtained from the fast pyrolysis of any type of biomass including waste. Fast pyrolysis is a process in which the organic materials are rapidly heated to 450 - 600 °C at atmospheric pressure in the absence of air. Under these conditions, organic vapours, pyrolysis gases and charcoal are produced. The vapours are condensed to bio-oil. Typically, 70-75 wt.% of the feedstock is converted into oil.
This process is similar to the process used by Dynamotive.