I’m Eating Diesel?
As we’ve mentioned before in this column, the main product from QER’s proposed projects will be Australian-made, ultra-low sulphur diesel. When I talk to people about why QER is working to help supply Australia’s future diesel needs, many seem surprised when they realise what an important role diesel fuel plays in all our lives. Virtually all the goods we use are carried on transport powered by diesel fuel. What’s more, many of our industries are dependent, moment to moment, on a safe, affordable, reliable, high quality fuel supply. Among the biggest users of diesel fuel in the country are our farmers. Diesel is a fuel with special advantages when it comes to agriculture. Diesel engines operate differently to other engines, working on the principle of ‘compression combustion’, producing high torque (power) for heavy duty applications like ploughing, harvesting, earthworks and towing produce to market. They work very efficiently at low speeds producing less wasted heat. Diesel also has high energy density, so diesel engines typically use 25-35% less fuel than spark ignition engines, meaning farmers don’t need to store or handle as much fuel, or refuel their equipment as often. Diesel engines are also very robust, so farm equipment can perform heavy duty operations over long periods without excessive wear, meaning higher reliability and less maintenance. So, while we don’t exactly eat diesel, it plays a crucial role in producing virtually everything we do eat. And in the future, by developing a high quality, high volume, Australian-made diesel resource, QER will be helping secure the vital fuel supplies which Queensland’s and Australia’s farmers and graziers depend upon. Ultimately this means helping secure access to fresh produce from our farms – something we don’t often think about, but something that’s a fundamental part of Australia’s rich quality of life.
Bruce Andersen Site Superintendent, QER