Australia funds feasibility study for biorefinery to produce renewable fuels from sawmill residues : Biofuels Digest


In Australia, Mid North Coast of New South Wales could become home to the world’s first biorefinery turning sawmill residues into renewable diesel and renewable bitumen.

On behalf of the Australian government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has announced up to A$500,000 in funding to Boral Timber, a subsidiary of Boral Ltd., to investigate the feasibility of building a second-generation biofuels refinery using the waste sawmill residues from the Boral Timber Hardwood Sawmill at Herons Creek near Port Macquarie.

Under the A$1.2 million study, Boral will explore the technical and financial viability of establishing a biorefinery using innovative technology, which would be located near the Herons Creek sawmill.

If the study is successful, the proposed biorefinery, which would cost an estimated A$50 million to build, could convert up to 50,000 metric tons of waste sawmill residue produced each year into transport-grade renewable diesel and bitumen.

The sawmill residue—which includes sawdust, remnant woodchips, shavings and offcuts—is currently used for lower value uses such as landscaping and boiler fuel.

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