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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    Southern Oil Refining Pty Ltd (Southern Oil Refining or SOR)


    Gladstone, Queensland

    ARENA Program

    Emerging Renewables Program

  • Start date

    22 December 2015

    End date

    21 August 2019

  • Project Partners
    This bioenergy project was completed on 21 August 2019.


The Northern Oil Advanced Biofuels Laboratory project involves the development and construction of Australia’s first biocrude and biofuel laboratory at the site of the Northern Oil Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant in Yarwun, central Queensland.


The laboratory will support the business case for the development of a commercial-scale Australian biorefinery that would produce renewable diesel and jet fuels.

There are key opportunities for biofuels in sectors such as the agriculture, timber and waste management.

ARENA has supported Australian companies like Muradel and Licella to develop innovative technologies for producing biocrude, however there is currently no way of refining this into large quantities of useable biofuels.

Project innovation

The laboratory will help determine the best ways to make useable biofuel from biocrudes, which can be made from a number of organic materials including woodwaste, wastewater treatment and agricultural waste.

Southern Oil will use the lab to undertake analysis and experimentation of biocrudes to develop product specifications and inform its entrance into the commercial fuels markets.


The world-class Southern Oil Refining laboratory will provide the missing link for turning biocrude into usable biofuel, encouraging the expansion of Australia’s renewable fuels industry.

A commercial scale biorefinery, supported by the outcomes of this project, will contribute to Australia’s general fuel security as well as play a key role in helping to deliver the Australian Government’s renewable energy and emissions reduction policies.

The laboratory will also reduce the need for Australian biocrude and biofuels innovators to use overseas testing service providers, saving time and money and retaining skills and knowledge in Australia.

The biofuel industry has the potential to create hundreds of high-value Australian jobs, as well as provide alternate revenue streams to industries which may serve the biocrude sector.

Last updated 23 March 2021


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