Yep, some boffins believe they can make what they call a bio-crude oil, using their secret Furafuel technology. Dr Steven Loffler of Forest Biosciences with Australia’s government science research body, CSIRO and his white coated mates at Monash University announced they can, via a chemical process, produce a highly stable oil. This can be readily refined to an equivalent of either petrol or diesel from waste paper, timber and crop wastes.
In fact pretty much anything that is endowed with plenty of lignocellulose. They reckon even forest thinnings, straw and household green garden waste will do the trick. An added benefit of their process is that the bio-crude oil is also PH neutral, so it can be held in storage for a while, before further processing.Dr Loffler says he would ultimately want to operate from small localised factories converting the wastes. "One of the big issues with making biofuel is that to move the bio-materials around tends to be expensive, it also produces a lot of greenhouse gases," he said. "What we envisage doing is having small, regional processing facilities close to the source of the bio-material, to convert it into the crude oil, and the oil can then be shipped long distances because it's certainly much easier to move a liquid around than it is to move solid materials."
Dr Loffler's team has applied for a patent and hope to have a demonstration plant built within the next couple of years. " ... we have every reason to believe that it's going to be at least competitive with crude oil, especially with current prices of crude oil." :: CSIRO Forest Biosciences, via ABC