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School of Engineering, Information Technology and Physical Sciences

Bioenergy stabilising Australia’s 100% renewable energy power grid

Bioenergy stabilising Australia’s 100% renewable energy power grid

Project Outline (up to 200 words):

Grid stabilisation via energy storage is a vital component in the efforts to transition to a 100% renewable energy grid. As wind and solar will constitute a major component of future’s renewable energy grids, terawatt scale of energy storage is needed, which battery and hydro cannot provide. Biofuels, on the other hand, are ideally suited.

This desktop study aims to investigate biofuels produced from non-food biomass as backup energy sources for a 100% renewable energy grid via simulation and economic assessment. Some of the fuels that could be investigated include: ethanol, dimethyl ether, hydrogen and so forth. This project will be of interest to the energy industry and the policy makers.

Scope of the project includes:

  • Literature review;
  • Selection of the biofuels and identification of appropriate sites for biofuel production, storage and utilisation technologies;
  • Development of the technical model/s for biofuel production and utilisation;
  • Simulation of the model/s;
  • Techno-economic assessment for a nation-wide implementation; and
  • Recommendations based on the results.

Resources: Simulation software (e.g., ASPEN, gPROMS or COCO-ChemSep)

Project Supervision Team

Dr. Adeel Ghayur (Bioenergy); A/Prof Vince Verheyen (Chemistry);

Vince brings experience with PhD supervision and chemistry skills experience. Adeel brings bioenergy and techno-economic simulation experience.

ERA: Environmental science and management

Research centre: Carbon Technology Research Centre/Civil and Power Engineering

References

Ghayur, A., & Verheyen, V. (2017). Renewable methane storage in Gippsland for peak and backup power. In 2017 IEEE-Australasian Universities Power Engineering Conference (AUPEC), Melbourne, Australia.

Ghayur, A., Verheyen, T. V., & Meuleman, E. (2019). Techno-economic analysis of a succinic acid biorefinery coproducing acetic acid and dimethyl ether. Journal of Cleaner Production, 230, 1165-1175.

Ghayur, A. (2019). Biofuels for circular economies in developing countries. In the International Conference on Innovative Applied Energy. Oxford, UK. 14-15 Mar 2019