Scion has released the report of their Biofuels Roadmap study which shows that New Zealand, if it has the will, could grow its way to a biofuelled transport future.
The study shows that liquid biofuels could be a significant part of the solution for reducing New Zealand’s GHG emissions, increasing our energy security, enhancing regional development, and maintaining access to international markets for our goods and services.
The study was undertaken to inform and stimulate debate on the large-scale production and use of liquid biofuels in New Zealand. Specifically, it sought to understand what a large-scale biofuels industry could look like here, for example: what crops should be grown and where; what conversion technologies should be used; and the key considerations and implications in developing such an industry. Quantitative scenario modelling, coupled with qualitative analysis, was used to ‘look at the future’ and create scenarios of what large scale production and use of biofuels in New Zealand might look like out to 2050 to identify the lowest cost value chain(s) under these different scenarios.
Key findings from the study were:
NZ could have a biofuelled transport future
- Large-scale biofuel production and use within New Zealand can happen
- Biofuels can be a large, longer-term answer to reducing New Zealand’s carbon emissions, particularly for difficult-to-decarbonise sectors such as aviation, shipping and long-haul road freight
- Large-scale biofuels opportunities must consider the whole value chain
- Biofuel production could provide strong regional economic development opportunities
- Drop-in biofuels from non-food feedstocks, particularly forestry grown on non-arable land, is the most attractive longer-term opportunity
- Government policy support will be needed to kick-start large-scale biofuel production because market forces alone will not be sufficient
Information on the study results:
Report - http://www.scionresearch.com/science/bioenergy/nz-biofuels-roadmap
Webinar - 15th March 2018. See events listing below
Ralph Sims - Biofuels not easy but worth the effort https://www.bioenergy.org.nz/documents/news/180227-Sims-biofuels.pdf
Bioenergy Association - Minister to get the word on biofuels https://www.bioenergy.org.nz/news/energy-minister-to-get-the-word-on-biofuels
Renewable diesel fuel opportunity
Miscanthus NZ has partnered with GP International Limited (GPI) to produce renewable diesel fuel (RDF) from cellulosic feedstocks and make it available in New Zealand. They advise that the first RDF sample is planned to arrive in NZ within a fortnight. Commercial production in NZ is expected to be able to commence in late 2019.
RDF – this is not biodiesel - is a fully sustainable, carbon negative, drop-in diesel fuel which, because of the technology and the resulting co-products, achieves sequestration of more than 1 kg of CO2 for every litre of RDF used. This is in addition to the fossil fuel substitution. It is therefore considerably better in greenhouse gas terms than even NZ electricity.
A similar project is being undertaken in Calgary Canada. (see item below).
They are seeking expressions of interest from parties interested in working with them on this project. Closing date is 9th March 2018. More information is available
News item - https://www.bioenergy.org.nz/news/renewable-diesel-fuel-sample-due-to-arrive-in-nz
EOI - https://www.bioenergy.org.nz/documents/memberprofile/Miscanthus-NZ/RDF-Expression-of-Interest.pdf
Member profile - https://www.bioenergy.org.nz/member/miscanthus-new-zealand
Pioneer to support University’s switch to wood fuel
With help from Pioneer Energy, within three years, the University of Otago will halve its greenhouse gas emissions created by its energy use. An existing 7.6 MW coal fired boiler is being converted to use wood fuel which Pioneer Energy Wood Fuel will supply.
The University uses steam produced by Pioneer Energy at their Dunedin Energy Centre, for heating and hot water in twenty-nine of its buildings, previously produced using coal. The University’s decision to move ahead with the change of fuel enabled Pioneer Energy to begin planning for the full switch to wood fuel.
Pioneer Energy converted the 45 year old coal boilers to wood fuel allowing the co-firing of the boiler house. This has resulted in an increase in boiler performance, efficiency, cleaner handling, and reduction in ash.
Pioneer Energy Wood Fuel will supply University of Otago with 90,000 GJ of seasoned wood chip fuel annually, offsetting the equivalent volume of coal.
ADI now BPO
BPO Ltd. (BPO) purchased the assets of ADI Systems Asia Pacific Ltd. (ADI) in December 2017. BPO is 100% New Zealand owned with an extensive involvement in the dairy, environmental technology and wastewater industries. The ADI team will continue their focus on the design, delivery and operations of industrial and municipal wastewater treatment and waste to energy plants.
Pyrolysis oil progress
Last year Nufuels received grant funding from the Waste Minimisation Fund to undertake further development of the production on pyrolysis oil from using tyres. Pyrolysis technologies are fast evolving and the experience on high carbon tyres will assist developing a capability for pyrolysis of cellulosic materials.
Nufuels, having demonstrated pyrolysis of tyres at an operational scale, have now placed an order for a production machine to be deployed at Foxton. It is scheduled to be commissioned mid-year. The fuel produced (Kerosel) is suitable for heat loads, can be sold locally at a discount off diesel, and because tyres are 30 – 50% natural rubber is partly a biofuel.
The company has also recently commissioned a 30 litre test rig to experiment with and assess the viability of producing fuels by small scale pyrolysis of the non-chlorinated and brominated waste plastics. Early results are promising.
Energy Research Strategy for NZ
The National Energy Research Institute recently published Energy Research Strategy for NZ: The Key Issues https://www.neri.org.nz/strategy It identified heavy duty cycle transport fuels and GHG emissions as one of New Zealand’s main medium term energy challenges, and in particular the need to ensure we have viable supply chains for clean replacement fuels at the lowest possible cost. Members (and this will involve Bioenergy Association) are now starting work on a business plan for the longer-term R&D New Zealand will need to address this. The Scion roadmap provides a foundation for the work on transport biofuels, and Scion is leading developments in this area.