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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    Licella Pty Ltd

    Location

    Somersby, New South Wales

    ARENA Program

    Advancing Renewables Program

  • Start Date

    December 2009

    Status

    Past

  • Project Partners
    University of Sydney and Ignite Energy Resources Ltd
    This bioenergy project was completed on 27 August 2012.

Summary

The project involved the design, construction and successful operation of a commercial demonstration facility for the conversion of inedible plant material (biomass) into a bio-crude oil with similar characteristics to traditional fossil crude.

Key results

The project confirmed the underlying economic assumptions of the technology were sound, paving the way for the next stage in the commercialisation process.

Need

The cost effective conversion of inedible plant material (called biomass) into liquid fuels could help to reduce Australia’s reliance on fuel imports as well as significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the transport industry.

Last updated
17 June 2022

Project innovation

The project involved the design, construction and successful operation of a commercial demonstration facility for Licella’s Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor (Cat-HTR) process which converts biomass into a bio-crude oil with similar characteristics to traditional fossil crude.

It examined issues associated with designing and constructing a facility ten times larger than Licella’s pilot facility, determined the best operating environment for the Cat-HTR process and assessed which biomass was most effective.

By testing different types of biomass including radiata pine, banna grass and macroalgae, the project found the technology to be highly flexible and can produce bio-crude oil from any biomass given a consistent supply.

The project also confirmed the underlying economic assumptions of the technology were sound, paving the way for the next stage in the commercialisation process.

Applications were made for six patents on the technology during the course of the project.

Benefit

Licella’s bio-crude oil can be blended with fossil crude oil and processed through traditional refineries to deliver sustainable transportation and potentially aviation fuels whilst using existing distribution infrastructure.

Last updated 17 June 2022
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