Waste plastic becomes valuable biofuel

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMarch 7, 2019

Scania has supplied a 16-litre engine for an innovative new Australian trial of renewable diesel fuel. The fuel will be made from waste plastic, old vehicle tyres, agricultural and forestry waste, as well as biosolids, and the goal is commercial scale production.

Over the next 12 to 18 months, Queensland-based company Southern Oil will be trying out renewable diesel from its Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant in the test engine. The aim is to demonstrate that this renewable fuel can perform identically to petroleum-based diesel.

The high-end Scania V8 test engine is being used in its power generation configuration for the testing, which allows assessment of exhaust emissions, performance and response, fuel efficiency, cost and engine lifetime.

Southern Oil is a leading Australian supplier of lubricant oil. The company re-refines waste oil to remove all contaminants and restore it to the original condition for reuse. Southern Oil is now aiming to build a commercial-scale renewable fuel refinery within five years.

“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,” says Tim Rose, managing director, Southern Oil.

But before a warranty is secured, an estimated one million litres of the renewable diesel will be trialled at Southern Oil‘s advanced biofuels laboratory.

“Warranty by an original equipment manufacturer like Scania is crucial to commercialisation and uptake of the fuel, as it must have the identical performance and characteristics of fossil fuel,” says Queensland‘s State Premier and Minister for Trade, Annastacia Palaszczuk.

“This trial is a critical milestone for the development of the renewable fuel industry in Queensland.”