[ASC-media] CSIRO: Experts discuss future of alternative transport fuels

Rebecca.Eveleigh at csiro.au Rebecca.Eveleigh at csiro.au
Mon Jul 16 05:39:27 CEST 2007

16 July 2007
Ref: 07/129

Experts discuss future of alternative transport fuels 

World leading experts in alternative transport fuels technology will
meet in Canberra this week to discuss recent advances and the future
outlook of the industry.

The Synfuel Alternative Symposium, hosted by CSIRO, will bring together
Australian and international research experts from July 17 to 19, to
discuss the latest developments in gas-to-liquids and coal-to-liquids
technology and examine the technical challenges to overcome in order to
establish such an industry in Australia.

With the forecast declining levels of self sufficiency in oil, the
search for alternative, locally produced fuels has become urgent.
Australia's large natural gas resources and coal reserves have the
potential to provide security of supply for transport fuels.

However, according to CSIRO Petroleum's gas-to-liquids expert, and
Symposium Chair, David Trimm, there are significant technological
hurdles which must be overcome to establish a viable synfuels industry
in Australia.

"Many of the technical issues are unique to Australia and therefore
demand local solutions - we cannot necessarily rely on imported
technology," Professor Trimm says.

"The Federal Government has recognised this and recently allocated $59.6
million to CSIRO to increase research into alternative fuels."

The Symposium marks the first high level technical conference to address
the research needs related to conversion of gas to liquids, coal to
liquids and biomass to liquids, altogether known as XTL. Producing
synthetic fuels from gas, coal and biomass will be a key focus for
CSIRO's Energy Transformed Flagship, through the additional funding.

"Our reserves of liquid transport fuels are diminishing and the
conversion of natural gas to diesel or gasoline is an obvious solution,"
says David Lamb, Leader for the Flagship's Low Emissions Transport

"Even a small improvement in Australia's liquid fuel self sufficiency
will deliver significant economic benefits to the nation as we will be
less dependent on expensive imported oil. In addition, these synthetic
fuels have environmental benefits with lower emissions." 

CSIRO's research in gas-to-liquids technology is a key focus of the new
AusGas initiative according to CSIRO Petroleum's Deputy Chief Dr David

"AusGas is a national alliance of research centres in partnership with
industry and Government to address the technology challenges of the
local gas industry," Dr Whitford says. 

"AusGas recognises that the development of Australia's natural gas
resources offers the prospect of a secure and competitive supply of
transport, domestic and industrial fuels, lower emissions and an
opportunity for significant wealth generation, and gas-to-liquids is
central to this."

The Symposium keynote address will be delivered by Australia's Chief
Scientist, Dr Jim Peacock, and world renowned experts including Jens
Rostrup-Nielsen and Enrique Iglesia will discuss recent technological
advances. In addition, CSIRO specialists from the Energy Transformed
Flagship and Petroleum Division will outline the latest research
activities in Australia.

Media are welcome to attend the Symposium which starts at 9am, July 17,
at The Australian Academy of Science's Shine Dome, Gordon St, ANU,
For more information about the Symposium and to download speaker's bio's
and abstracts visit www.csiro.au/events/SynfuelAlternative

Further Information:	
Professor David Trimm, CSIRO Petroleum 
Symposium Chair
Dr Dave Whitford, CSIRO Petroleum
Deputy Chief
Mr David Lamb, Energy Transformed Flagship
Theme Leader, Low Emissions Transport	(02) 9385 4340, 0419 272 406
david.trimm at csiro.au
(02) 9490 8745, 0419 473 876
david.whitford at csiro.au
(03) 9545 8940, 0437 608 317
david.lamb at csiro.au
Media Assistance:	
Ms Jackie Walsh, CSIRO Petroleum
Communications Advisor	(08) 6436 8707, 0407 980 726
jackie.walsh at csiro.au

If you would like to be removed from this mailing list, please contact
CSIROMedia at csiro.au, or telephone us on 02 6276 6479.

Beck Eveleigh
Media Assistant
CSIRO Media Liaison
6276 6451
0409 395 010

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