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Project Details

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Feasibility of Agave as a Feedstock for Biofuel Production in Australia
Summary This project provides a blueprint for quantifying the feasibility of growing cultivars of Agave tequilana as feedstock for biofuel production in Australia.

The Project comprises two strands: a desktop study and agronomic trials at nominated sites.

The desktop review will
(i) collate the limited productivity information from Mexico
(ii) assess potential yields and production economics in Australian environments
(iii) assess how Agave might be grown as a standalone crop or in combination with sorghum or sugar cane farming systems,
(iv) construct a business case for developing Agave as a biofuel feedstock with reviews by technical, economic and engineering experts.
(v) assess the potential of Agave as a biorefinery crop

The report will provide an examination of the potential for Agave to be a sustainable biofuel feedstock under Australian conditions.
Program Bioenergy, Bioproducts and Energy
Research organisation Global Recycling Pty/Ltd Tas NatureLab
Objective summary The key objective of the project is to demonstrate to the satisfaction of growers, industry, investors and regulators, that it is feasible to farm cultivars of Agave tequilana as feedstock for biofuel production in Australia.

The demonstration that Agave is a genuine candidate for biofuel feedstock production requires convincing evidence that Agave will grow in Australia, the leadin time for establishing the crop is short, it can be farmed in a profitable sustainable manner under present and future conditions, it fits the production, quality, infrastructure and financial requirements and capabilities of the industry as a whole, and it is not a threat to the environment or biodiversity. Further demonstration of the potential of Agave byproducts to add value to feedstock through the production of high value products will supplement the argument for introducing Agave as a crop.

The project is designed to provide the reliable quantified assessments required to test the key objectives as follows:

1 Assessing Australian Potential from Overseas Performance
2 Testing the Feasibility
3 Identify Human Capital
Project Stage Closed
Project start date Friday, May 29, 2009
Project completion date Friday, April 30, 2010
Journal articles from project Not Available
National priority An environmentally sustainable Australia
Rural priority Soil, water and managing natural resources
RIRDC goal BBE-Bioenergy, Bioproducts and Energy
Principal researcher Don Chambers
Research manager Duncan Farquhar
Admin contact Don Chambers