The Biodiesel Station - Sydney's First


With all the recent talk stateside about biodiesel, thought it time we mention that in late January, Sydney quietly opened its own such service station (or the locals might say, 'servo'). Initially it is going with 59,000 litres of combined capacity, spread across the offerings of the 100% blend (B100), B50, B20, and even some E10 (petrol with 10% ethanol). The prices in the photo are a bit out of date. It's now in the realm of $1.30 AUD / litre, but remains cheaper than full petroleum diesel, due in part to (and will wonders never cease?) a federal government temporary excise exemption for biodiesel. Yay, we got something right! But price is not the only benefit being touted. The supplier is suggesting biodiesel use can lead to a "reduction in carbon monoxide emissions by up to 50 per cent and total hydrocarbons by up to 60 per cent when compared to fossil fuel." Plus this: "Biodiesel is 10 times less toxic than table salt." Plans are afoot for another 6 or 7 servos in the city, as demand grows. One story indicates that for ever unit of energy used to produce biodiesel, you get a return of 3.2 units of energy, whereas old petrol-diesel can only manage 0.9 units returned. Impessive. However as colder weather makes its presence felt, the B100 is being withdrawn from sale, because it might clog filters. The blends remain. The fuel is processed in what the Australian Biodiesel Group (ABG), consider as one of the largest plants in the country (about 40 million litres [or 10.5 million gallons] per annum.) And speaking of plants, not only can the facility process canola, soy and palm oils, but it can also use as feedstock that old standby - used cooking oil. ::The Biodiesel Station.