Bioenergy / Energy from wasteProject Demonstrate Commercial Production of Bio-Crude Oil from Biomass
A report on the cost effective conversion of inedible plant material (called biomass) into liquid fuels.
Licella’s commercial demonstration of converting inedible plant materials (known as lignocellulosics) to a stable bio-crude and its Australian-based production of Bio-Crude oil, is targeted at assisting Australia with energy security goals and greenhouse gas reduction targets. There may also be future export potential for the Bio-Crude oil.
The project was funded with assistance from the Second Generation Biofuels Research and Development (Gen 2) Program, which supported the research, development and demonstration of new biofuel technologies and feedstocks that address the sustainable development of an advanced biofuels industry in Australia.
The project has included the design, construction and successful operation of a commercial demonstration facility for the production of Bio-Crude oil that can be blended with traditional fossil crude and then upgraded at existing refineries. Licella’s Commercial Demonstration Plant was opened in December 2011 in Somersby, one hour north of Sydney. Licella undertook extensive feedstock and processing testing to determine the optimal operating environment for the production of Bio-Crude oil using Licella’s Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor (CatHTR) and to test the commercial assumptions of the technology. Licella, through this project, has proven that the underlying economic assumptions of its technology are sound, paving the way for the next stage in the commercialisation process.
Following the completion of the project, $5.4 million of ARENA funding was announced for Licella to undertake a $8.2 million feasibility study into the construction of its first pre-commercial biofuels plant. If constructed, it is estimated that the plant could produce 125,000 barrels of Bio Crude per annum, which could be used as a drop-in fuel.