First trial of its kind for renewable diesel

Friday 8 Mar 2019

In what’s being described as the first trial of its kind in Australia, a Scania test engine is operating solely on 100 per cent renewable diesel fuel made from waste plastic, old vehicle tyres, agriculture and forestry waste, and biosolids.

Southern Oil’s Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant at Yarwun, near Gladstone, is pioneering the refining of renewable diesel fuel with the aid of the Palaszczuk Government’s Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund. The high-end Scania V8 test engine is being used in a power generation role for the testing, which includes assessment of exhaust emissions, performance and response, fuel efficiency, cost and engine lifetime.

According to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, renewable diesel is a much greener alternative to mineral diesel. “Our government is committed to creating a sustainable, export-oriented biofutures industry in Queensland,” said Palaszczuk. Southern Oil is 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”.

Palaszczuk said the trial was a critical milestone for the development of the renewable fuel industry in Queensland. Over the next 12 to 18 months, according to the premier, Southern Oil will be running the test engine solely on renewable diesel to prove it performs identically to petroleum-based diesel in terms of performance and wear-and-tear on the engine.

“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,” she said. Before warranty is secured, an estimated one million litres of the renewable diesel will be trialled at Southern Oil’s advanced biofuels laboratory – the leading facility of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.


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