The work involved detailed techno-economic modelling of the processes to convert three feedstocks – sucrose from sugar cane; microalgae; and oily seeds from a tree called Pongamia – to produce a minimum selling price for aviation biofuel. The results showed that using current proven technologies, the biofuels would be economically competitive with crude oil at a price per barrel of $301 (sugarcane), $374 (Pongamia seeds) and $1,343 (microalgae).
Ground-breaking Australian research on the viability of aviation biofuels was released last Friday, at the culmination of almost three years of work by The University of Queensland, James Cook University, The Boeing Company, Virgin Australia, Mackay Sugar and IOR Energy.
The results of the unique study as part of the Queensland Sustainable Aviation Fuel Initiative have been published in the international journal Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining and were presented at the Boeing-hosted Aero Environment Summit in Sydney.
Researchers at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, based at The University of Queensland, looked at the engineering and associated financial viability of biofuel production.
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