Wednesday, 24 July 2024
    From ponds to engines: Queensland’s algae revolution fuels a sustainable future
    greentech, sustainabilitydriving, algaerevolution

    From ponds to engines: Queensland’s algae revolution fuels a sustainable future

    You might be happy to put algae in your car, but would you be willing to eat it? 

    In Australia’s pursuit of eco-friendly alternatives, a promising biofuel option is emerging – algae.  

    Unlike traditional biofuel crops, algae offers a dual purpose, serving both as a human-consumable resource and a fuel source. The difference lies in the fact that, unlike other biofuels, growing algae doesn't compete for space with food crops, making it a sustainable solution for the ‘food versus fuel’ challenge. 

    Queensland is leading the way with this gooey green solution, with Bundaberg’s Isis Central Sugar Mill at the forefront of using wastewater to cultivate algae for biofuel. The mill aims to transform ponds, fueled by its wastewater, into a sustainable source of biodiesel. The goal is to make algae-based biofuel accessible to the public at local fuel stations through this innovative approach. 

    Isis Central Sugar Mill’s Chief Operating Officer, Craig Wood, explains that to bring this vision to life, the first crucial step is algae cultivation. "If it works out properly, we should be able to do it at a viable proposition so it assists the growers to be able to put biodiesel into their farm tractors,"  Mr Wood said. He also speculated that the mill may also look at using the algae as a human food source down the track. 

    However, challenges persist, primarily in scaling up algae production to make it a viable business. Despite the technical know-how, achieving the necessary scale for cost competitiveness with existing fuels remains a deciding factor in the progress of algae-based products. The timeline for algae-based biofuel’s widespread availability at fuel stations hinges on overcoming these challenges and the evolving regulatory and policy landscape.  

    As Queensland pioneers the integration of algae into its energy supply, the journey from ponds to bowser represents a significant stride towards sustainable and versatile fuel options. And we at Procurement Australia look forward to the day we can fill up for less at the servo with green goo! 

    Until then, did you know that Procurement Australia has an existing partnership with Fleet Card, one of Australia’s leading fuel cards? With OneCard, you no longer have to drive around searching for a compliant petrol station; you now have the convenience of choosing whichever is closest or offering the best fuel price on the day. Explore what’s on offer with a One Card by heading to our Retail Fuel page.  




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