Collaboration aims to develop fuel from waste plant material

A new research collaboration between CSIRO and leading UK and Australian universities aims to transform waste plant material into a sustainable, low-emission fuel.

The A$8.3m (approximately £5m) CSIRO Energy Transformed Cluster on Biofuels will develop new processes to produce liquid fuels from waste plant feedstocks.

’Second-generation biofuels that are produced from agricultural waste could potentially be a cost-competitive, low-carbon fuel that will keep our cars on the road and planes in the sky,’ said Dr Alex Wonhas, director of CSIRO’s Energy Transformed Flagship.

The three-year collaboration between CSIRO’s Energy Transformed Flagship and the Australian National University (ANU), RMIT University, the University of Queensland and Manchester University in the UK will deploy biological methods to produce liquid transport fuels and other valuable chemical products from the cellulose and lignin solids of waste plant material.

ANU’s Prof Chris Easton, cluster leader, said the expertise and complementary skills in the cluster will combine to develop the new processes for generating biofuels in a sustainable way.