The demonstration of a novel Australian innovation to turn agricultural waste and mallee biomass into energy has received Australian Government support of $3.6 million through ARENA’s Emerging Renewables program.

Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, said the grant will assist Renergi Pty Ltd, a Curtin University company, to provide the necessary technical data to design a commercial scale gasifier.

Once developed, the gasifier will transform various types of biomass, such as agricultural waste and mallee, into gas that can be fed into an engine to generate electricity.

“Unlike other competing technologies that need to have more than one reactor system to achieve complete gasification, this technology will ultimately carry out the biomass gasification in one single reactor for small-scale, distributed electricity generation applications,” Minister Ferguson said.

“This technology is ideal for small-scale applications such as generating electricity in remote areas that are away from the electricity network but close to feedstocks, such as wheat straw and mallee, to fuel the generator. 

"As the Government emphasised in its 2012 Energy White Paper, Australian researchers have the opportunity to capitalise on existing research to develop and commercialise Australian technologies.

"I am pleased to see this project doing exactly that, by supporting Australian researchers and businesses to demonstrate a home-grown renewable energy technology that ultimately can be commercialised and used in Australia."

Project partners include Curtin University, Cryofin, Verve Energy and the Oil Mallee Association of Australia. The total cost of the project will be $6.7 million.

ARENA is a $3.2 billion Australian Government commitment to improve the competitiveness of renewable energy technologies and increase the supply of renewable energy in Australia. It is part of the Government’s Clean Energy Future package.

Further information about ARENA is available at www.arena.gov.au .

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