*Image courtesy of John Tann
This week The Australian Renewable Energy Agency announced $2 million in funding support for the improvement in woody biomass harvesting efficiencies.
The woody biomass harvester is being developed by Biosystems Engineering, and will aim to collect 15,000 tonnes of chipped Mallee from a plantation in NSW. The fuel will be used to supplement feedstock for a bioenergy power plant at the Broadwater sugar mill in NSW.
Mallee trees are well adapted to Australia’s harsh environment and bushfires and are one of several short-rotation, woody crops suitable to biomass feedstock.
“Fast growing trees have the potential to offer an attractive renewable feedstock if a cost effective harvesting method were developed,” Mr Frischknecht, Biosystems Engineering, said.“These species are complementary to food production and are already being used on Australian farms as wind screens and to tackle salinity and boost biodiversity...Using them as a renewable fuel may offer a win-win outcome for farmers and could potentially create a new model for community based biomass energy hubs in rural Australia."
The innovative technology being developed could significantly lower the cost of producing wood chips for biomass by harvesting the trees and converting them into wood chips at the same time.
If the trials are successful it will provide a valuable contribution to the Australian biomass industry, improving viability of biomass as a source of onsite power generation within Australia.
For more information on biomass please contact Mass Energy Australia on 1300 00 6277 or contact us via the webform.