DIFFERENT: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Southern Oil managing director Tim Rose at the official opening of the Northern Oil Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant.
DIFFERENT: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Southern Oil managing director Tim Rose at the official opening of the Northern Oil Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant. Paul Braven GLA010617NORTHOIL

EXPLAINED: How Northern Oil's refinery works

PART of the innovative Northern Oil Refinery is complete.

Waste-to-energy company Anergy announced this week completion of its High Temperature Pyrolysis plant at the Yarwun site, run by Southern Oil.

Anergy's HTP plant is an integral part of the Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant program, which has been hailed as a "game changer” for the renewable energy market in Australia.

The plant processes waste biomass and hydrocarbon material as feedstock and will produce bio crude oil, which is then refined and converted at NOR into renewable fuel products.

Anergy's completed project at the biofuels plant.
Anergy's completed project at the biofuels plant. contributed

Anergy process engineer David Forster said the company's technology was unique in the marketplace.

"Our equipment and design allows for high temperature operations with first-in-class thermal efficiency,” he said.

"Our tightly integrated design is scalable across 30kg/hr to 3000kg/hr, yet in many cases occupies the space of just a few shipping containers.

"Although a pilot, the plant at the Northern Oil Refinery is of commercial scale and far from the 'lab-bench' technology usually seen in this industry.

"This project is the first of its kind to use this technology, across this variety of feedstocks and at this scale.”

The HTP plant heats feedstock - either solid or liquid material - to temperatures as high as 900 degrees in an oxygen-free environment, where the material undergoes pyrolysis.

Through this process the material separates into a solid biochar product and a gas stream called syngas.

The syngas is then processed in a multi-stage condensing system to recover pyrolysis oil from the syngas, which is then re-refined into renewable fuel.

Mr Forster said the Yarwun project was the development and delivery of an Australian technology to the forefront of the renewable energy and waste management markets.

"It has helped create jobs at all levels, including trade apprentices and graduate engineers,” he said.

"Our technology empowers our clients to generate and recover useful materials, and in doing so realise economic and environmental value, from their otherwise unusable waste.”

Southern Oil business development manager Ben Tabulo said the company aimed to drive innovation in the sustainable fuel space.

"We are excited about the prospect of working with such an innovative technology, and we value the fact that they are a domestic Australian company,” he said.

"I am confident that the relationship will prove fruitful in both business and scientific innovation, leading to a better future for all.”

Chris Lees



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