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Queensland Government grant to support sugarcane waste to biofuel project

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Australian company Licella Holdings has received a grant worth AUD$500,000 (€300,685) from the Queensland Government’s Waste to Biofutures (W2B) fund, to support a research and feasibility study for a biorefinery that converts sugarcane waste into biofuel.

Licella plans to work with the University of Queensland, Burdekin Renewable Fuels and other project partners to test the conversion of sugarcane wastes and residues into biofuels, using Licella’s Cat-HTR technology.

Queensland Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said: “If the outcome of the feasibility project is positive, we could see the Burdekin region supporting a full-scale biorefinery, and the many jobs that will come with it.”

The regional project is expected to generate economic development and create more jobs for Queenslanders. Member for Townsville Scott Stewart added: “Our region has many natural advantages including an abundance of energy dense and productive organic waste feedstock and other industry materials to produce high-value products such as sustainable fuels and chemicals.

“With our world-leading agricultural and industrial biotechnology expertise and research, we want to see more biofuels business and investment such as this.”

Recognising the support from Queensland Government, Steve Rogers, business development manager at Licella, said: “We estimate that a full-scale commercial biorefinery in the region would require around 60 staff in addition to about 100 workers for construction and others involved with collection of leafy trash during the cane harvesting process.”

Around 1.65 million tonnes of sugarcane tops and waste is produced in the region every year, according to Burdekin Renewable Fuels chairman Greg Rossato. This project aims to provide a commercial alternative to growers looking for an option to burn the crops before harvest.