Melbourne renewable energy company, AgBioEn, is working with La Trobe University and tech firm LAB3 to run trials for turning crop waste into bio diesels and jet-fuels, as well as into soil nutrients that can be ploughed back into fields to improve future crops. This all makes AgBioEn Australia’s first fully integrated, carbon negative fuels project.
The trials are set to take place through the next three to four years, with an aim to produce 150 million litres of fuel per year through the process. On the technology side, LAB3 is assisting with the development of IoT devices and drones to test and monitor crops, with data and analytics running on Azure Cloud platforms.
The future of the project sees AgBioEn invest $2 billion in developing agricultural lands within a 200km radius of its Renewable Energy and Fuels Facility to turn ag waste into fuel over an area of 100,000 hectares and generating 150 million litres of fuel per year.
Locally, diesel fuel usage is at around 35 billion litres, so it’s a small dent, but like anything it all starts with a first step.