Construction of a refinery and machinery plant that can produce one metric ton of bio-oil from every two tons of crop stalks is set to begin in eastern China’s Anhui province, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday.
The project in the provincial capital of Hefei will cost CNY97.8 million ($12.2 million) and is expected to be operational in a year’s time, the report said, without indicating who would pay for or operate the plant.
The refinery will process 2,000 tons of biomass annually to produce bio-oil as a substitute for heavy oil, diesel and coal tar, it added.
The report follows an announcement June 29 by scientists from the University of Science and Technology of China of a breakthrough in reducing the cost of converting crop stalks, chaff and sawdust into bio-oil.
Xinhua’s China Economic Information Service reported in June that bio-oil produced with the scientists’ technology is 56.8% cheaper than diesel oil and 39.1% cheaper than heavy oil, quoting Professor Guo Qingxiang with the Biomass Clean Energy Laboratory at the university, located in Anhui.
Guo added, however, that bio-oil only produces two fifths of the heat from the same amount of diesel oil and only half that of heavy oil, the report said.
“The Chinese government will subsidize the application of the lab’s technologies,” said Cui Weiping, an official with the office of countryside energy of Anhui Province.
Bio-oil can be used directly to heat boilers and as fuel for motor vehicles after further refining, helping China to increase the share of renewables in the national energy mix and reduce its dependence on coal and imported oil.
(Cf. news of Oct. 07, 2004.)
Source: Easy bourse-News Aug. 29, 2006.