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  • Scientists in Australia are said to be on the verge of a biofuel breakthrough

Australian scientists 'on verge of biofuel breakthrough'

Apr 09 2013 Comments 0

A team of scientists in Australia is on the verge of a biofuel breakthrough, it has been announced.

The researchers aim to produce renewable biofuels, derived from micro-algae, on a commercial basis.

If they are successful, Adelaide-based research company Muradel is to spearhead the new project, enabling an $8 million (£5.5 million) biofuel demonstration in Whyalla, Adelaide Now reports.

It is is hoped this venture will spark a major new industry in South Australia.

According to Muradel chief technology office Associate Professor David Lewis, the revolutionary process should generate hundreds of millions of dollars worth of oil a year in South Australia.

What’s more, it is hoped that the Muradel development will help to give Whyalla, a regional community, a boost. It is also aiming to become the hub of an integrated biofuels production facility using multiple feedstocks, including wheat straw and agave in order to maximise its viability.

It is hoped that the success of such a project would prove a game-changer in the battle against rising energy costs, as well as the elimination of the carbon footprint.

Furthermore, it also has the potential to generate byproducts like bio-plastics and feed for livestock and aquaculture.

Professor Geoff Fincher, Adelaide scientist, commented that the world will soon achieve a historic breakthrough in the field of biofuel. He added that money will be funnelled into the field as it enjoys more and more success.

He said: "After relying on fossil fuels for 300 years, it's running out and it seems we are witnessing an historic moment in time.

"We've got to show leadership to slow fossil fuel use and support sustainable fuels and companies have to look seriously at their fuel costs.

"We recognise the potential for this is huge... we are at the beginning of a major new industry."

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