Muradel developed Green2Black, a proprietary way of producing biofuel from biosolids, algae and other sustainable feedstocks. The company's $10.5 million demonstration plant in Whyalla in a bid to commercialize the technology which received $4.5 million in grant funding from the Federal Government's Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and more than $500,000 in state and council funds. Unfortunately, production costs were prohibitive - the pilot plant produced oil from micro-algae at about $9.90 a litre against a projected cost of less than $1 a litre. The company also built five algae ponds to support research.
The business was established in 2010 by the University of Adelaide, Murdoch University and majority shareholder SQC Pty Ltd, which is solely funded by Aban Australia Pty Ltd. (part of the Ausker Group of Companies).(Source: Daily Telegraph, The Advertiser, Others, 9 April, 2019) Contact: Muradel, +61 8 8645 5683, www.muradel.com.au
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According to the researchers, the development and commercialization of algae-to-fuel technology has not been developed further because the process by which the oils were extracted from the plants was too costly to be economically viable. However, the new technique developed by Dr. Mohanty and his colleagues may change all that.
"Typically when you take algae you have to go through this drying or dewatering step. What we decided is 'Well, what if I could just take the algae, feed it into this mixer and extract the bio-crude directly without using the energy needed to dewater it as in traditional methods?' Basically what we do is we have a solvent in one end and we have the algae with the water in another end and we shoot them into this little mixer at high velocities. What comes out is basically a slurry of stuff that if you let sit or put into a centrifuge, you can just pull the oil off and process it for fuel," Mohanty noted.
The fuels produced through this process burns cleaner than petroleum diesel in most ways and could potentially replace petroleum diesel in many vehicles,
(Source: University of Utah, Utah Public Radio, 4 April, 2019) Contact: University of Utah, Dr. Swomitra Kumar Mohanty,
Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering, (801) 587-7299,
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"Production of biofuels can also be done efficiently under searing temperatures and without relying on Qatar's arable land," said SDC director and Qatar Biofuel Project manager Hareb al-Jabri. In a statement, he said the first phase of the project witnessed SDC’s research team producing biodiesel, bioethanol and bio-crude oil. These fuels should provide an additive source of energy, specifically for use by the airline industry.
According to Al-Jabri, the project adds value to the country's oil and gas sector as it aims to support the vision of Qatar Airways to use environmentally-friendly fuel in the airline industry, reducing the negative environmental effects of conventional fuel.
He added that the project will also contribute to carbon dioxide sequestration by recycling it to produce biofuels.
(Source: SDC Qatar University, Gulf Times, April, 2018)Contact: SDC Qatar University, www.qu.edu.qa
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