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Project Details

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Sustainable production & use of forest biomass - native species
Summary Australia’s response to climate change opens new opportunities for use of forestry for bioenergy production crops on marginal land. Two key research priorities for forest species are addressed: 1. To extend the evaluation of woody species with biomass production potential from southern Australian to a national level and 2. Conduct a comparative analysis of biofuel conversion properties for woody species. Outputs will include recommendations of species for different growing regions and guidelines for design of future trials to optimise bioenergy production from woody species and develop production systems buffered against climate change.
Program Bioenergy, Bioproducts and Energy
Research organisation The University of Queensland
Objective summary The first objective, to extend the evaluation of woody species with biomass production potential from southern Australian to a national level, will be addressed by reviewing currently available biomass production data to identify and target the development of Australian native tree species as potential biofuels crops. The review will extend earlier studies on forest species in Southern Australia (Search and FloraSearch) by considering northern subtropical and tropical species and identify gaps in knowledge to be targeted as future research priorities. The project will also build on the current RIRDC funded project “Prospective taxa for shortrotation bioenergy in the tropics and subtropics” (Contact David Bush CSIRO) that is undertaking field trials for the comparative analysis of southern mallee species (Eucalyptus polybractea and E. horistes) with species from summerdominated rainfall regions of northern Australia on a range of subtropical and tropical sites. Species biomass production data from these studies and other published sources will be evaluated against a common set of selection criteria formulated at the RPNSBC Workshop, that where possible will include; biomass yield, portion of harvest material converted to biofuel, water use efficiency, nutrient use efficiency, weed potential (biosecurity issues) and tolerance of marginal land.

The second objective of the project addresses the need for comparative data on the amenability of Australian woody biomass species to conversion to biofuel. This project, will evaluate a set of bestbet species from each of three growing regions for their suitability for pretreatment and biochemical conversion using enzymes using a standard pretreatment approach.
Project Stage Closed
Project start date Monday, August 30, 2010
Project completion date Wednesday, June 29, 2011
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 Robert Henry OLD LOGIN
Research manager Duncan Farquhar
Admin contact Blake Chapman