The aim of this project was to conduct a feasibility study into the viability of a biodiesel manufacturing facility in the Southern Grampians region.
This is in light of the significant risk to the stability of our environment, social and economic structures that global warming and peak oil pose.
The study found that none of the alternatives investigated were viable.
Three main characteristics for viability were identified. Firstly, that as the vast majority of farm machines are powered by diesel, compatibility with these engines is paramount, preferably without major and costly modifications. Secondly, the fuel must have an energy density high enough to give farm machinery an endurance or range close to that currently provided by petroleum diesel. Thirdly, the fuel must be readily transported and stored on farm without the requirement for new and expensive infrastructure upgrades. Biomass fuels were identified as meeting more than just the primary requirements of engine compatibility and energy density, offering the possibility of creating new regional industries and enabling farmers to have more control over their own energy future.
This Fellowship was awarded to Heinz de Chelard, Environmental Engineer and Company Director of Catchment Health Engineering, Hamilton.