AN OVERVIEW OF THE AUSTRALIAN BIOMASS RESOURCES AND UTILIZATION TECHNOLOGIES

Behdad Moghtaderi, Changdong Sheng, Terry F. Wall

Abstract


Information on Australian biomass resources including bagasse, black liquor from paper pulp production, wood waste and forestry residues, energy crops, crop wastes, food and agricultural wet waste, and municipal solid wastes is provided in the review. The characteristics of the Australian biomass are typical of those of other countries, i.e. high moisture and volatile matter, low heating value and density, and low sulfur and nitrogen content, but high Ca and Mg for woody biomass. The characteristics influence biomass utilization. Biomass is used extensively at present within Australia, primarily for domestic heating, as bagasse in the sugar industry, and for electricity generation. Biomass usage for electricity generation is increasing and is expected to reach 5.2 Mt/year by 2019-20. Exports, as wood chips, are approximately 10 Mt/year in 2000-01. Forestry residues have been estimated to be 23 Mt/year. Current technologies that utilize biomass in Australia include those for electricity and heat by direct combustion, cofiring with coal and fluidized bed combustion), for biogas generation (from landfills, and aerobic digestion, and as bio-liquids. Related to bio-liquid fuels, ethanol production from molasses and wheat is being progressed. The resultant ethanol is used as a petrol extender, and a bio-diesel process is under development.

Keywords


Biomass, Australian Resources, Utilization Technologies

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