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Where there's muck...insects and plastics help latest biolube tech

South African and Australian scientists are trialling new solutions for bio-lube and bio-fuel production.

In Australian, Queensland-based Southern Oil is set to begin trials of its renewable diesel, with some help from truck-maker, Scania.

Southern's Advance Biofuels Pilot Plant has taken delivery of a Scania test engine - placed on the back of a Scania flatbed truck - to enable the testing of around one million litres of Southern's bio-diesel. The fuel is produced from a combination of waste plastic, vehicle tyres, agricultural waste and bio-solids.

According to Southern's MD, Tim Rose: “Having a company like Scania endorse our fuel is crucial to creating commercial demand for our diesel and moving from pilot scale into demonstration scale”.  His comments were endorsed by Queensland's legislators who have stated that the fuel's performance and characteristics must be identical to hydrocarbon-based fuels.

Black Soldier Fly

Black Soldier Fly Image: gailhampshire under Commons

Meanwhile, in the South African city of Durban, scientists at The Biocycle are using solid human waste to stimulate the growth of Black Soldier Fly larvae on an industrial scale.

The larvae are then separated from the waste and separated again into solid and liquid elements. The solids produced from the process are used for agricultural purposes, while the liquid is process into oils, including lubricants and bio-diesel fuels.

The liquid part of the process, which creates a structural polysaccharide made from chains of modified glucose called Chitin is still only at the lab stage.  However, The Biocycle is working towards commercial production.

Tags: Australia, bio fuels, bio lubes, Lubes tech, Lubricants

Published 30th April, 2019

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