Biofuel push cranks up
AUSTRALIAN rubbish will lead a new ethanol drive for transport fuel under a process developed in the US. Rubbish will move into the fuel frontline in 2014 when the Flex Ethanol Australia plant comes online in Victoria in a deal that links the Coskata company to a consortium that includes GM Holden and the Victorian Government.
Coskata already has a pilot ethanol program in the US but is using wood chips, not rubbish. It will switch to full-scale production in less than two years.
Victoria will take up the rubbish collection in a deal that could eventually end the world’s reliance on potential food sources— mostly corn in the US — for automotive fuel.
Coskata vice-president James Frawley told carsGuide: ‘‘The technology is right today. We’re hoping that is as soon as the Australian consortium moves forward’’.
‘‘There is going to be a huge market. Our technology is costcompetitive with gasoline as a transport fuel.’’
His company rocked the fuel business when it first announced the rubbish-to-ethanol plan and its backing from General Motors, but it has been very quiet since then.
Now Frawley is happy to confirm the success of a pilot production plant in the US and the plans to go international, not only in Australia but to other countries including China and Brazil.