Biofuels in Australia and the Northern Territory

In this factsheet:

What are biofuels?
What are they made from?
Common myths on biodiesel
Where to get biodiesel in the NT

What are biofuels?

Biofuels are liquid fuels which have been derived from other materials such as waste plant and animal matter. There are two main types of biofuels: bio-ethanol (used as a replacement for gasoline/ULP) and biodiesel (used as a replacement for diesel).

Biofuels are important for a number of reasons. The most obvious being that our transport industry is dependent on finite fossil fuels such as oil and petroleum so it is important that we move towards more renewable and sustainable fuels. And secondly, transport is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in Australia, so alternative fuel sources such as biofuels will significantly reduce our carbon footprint.

Did you know that Rupert Diesel, the inventor of the diesel engine, created the engine to be powered by peanut oil? So the capabilities of biodiesel have been known for a very long time.

What is biofuel made from?

Biodiesel is produced from renewable plant or animal feed-stocks containing fatty acids. It can be used in any cars that take diesel, heavy transport such as trucks, machinery, construction equipment and ships,

In Australia, the main feed-stocks used to make biodiesel are tallow, used cooking oil and oilseeds. The CSIRO estimate that converting all used cooling oil, tallow exports and oilseeds could potentially replace 488% of petrodiesel consumption.

The facts about biofuels:

There are many myths surrounding the use of biodiesel (including ethanol and biodiesel), such as:

Myth: Biofuels use valuable food resources no
Fact: Biofuels are produced from waste streams and by products

Myth: I need to convert my car before using biofuels no
Fact: Biofuels are compatible with all vehicles, but if you are still unsure, then check with the manufacturer yes

Myth: Biodiesel is bad for my vehicle no
Fact: Biodiesel and diesel burn similarly. In fact, biodiesel has some added advantages such as better lubricity, reduced engine and fuel pump wear and tear, and even a longer engine life

Myth: Biodiesel will destroy fuel lines and gaskets no
Fact: Biodiesel is in fact a good solvent and will clean out bad diesel residule

Myth: My vehicle has less power if I use an ethanol blended fuel no
Fact: Ethanol has a much high octane rating than gasoline and at higher blends there can be significant increases in power.

Biodiesel is usually blended with petrodiesel to make different concentrated blends (for example B20 or B100). Biodiesel is compatible with virtually all models of equipment and vehicles currently in production, and in some cases has been quoted as an effective agent in clearing out fuel tanks of debris contained in regular petrodiesel.

Where can you get biodiesel in the Northern Territory?

FryerFuels, located in Winnellie, is a registered commercial Recycled Biodiesel Manufacturer. Fryerfuels is a cleaning and waste oil management/recycling company. The use waste cooking oil from around the hospitality industry in Darwin.

FryerFuels is a 2011 Melaleuca Award Winner and is selling biodiesel this week at $1.10/litre.

For more information go to the Fryer Fuels website


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