July 6, 2012, Schwechat, Austria, - The world's first biomass diesel plant has been opened in Austria, able to convert solid biomass – such as wood chips and straw – directly into diesel fuel.
By John Tenpenny
According to an article in ConstructionWeekOnline.com , the plant is a second-generation biofuel plant, which uses waste products from the agricultural and forestry sectors for its feedstock, without using food products.
The plant is a joint venture between the Austrian oil and gas company OMV, in which International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) of Abu Dhabi holds a 24.9 per cent share, and BDI, a biodiesel company that has been involved in more than 30 biodiesel plants worldwide.
"Conventional first-generation biofuels are not a long-term solution because the cultivation of the necessary raw materials competes with food production," said OMV CEO Gerhard Roiss.
To extract biogenic diesel, the BioCRACK pilot plant uses an innovative, patented process whereby the biomass is heated with heavy oil to over 400 °C, meaning diesel is produced with a biogenic share of up to 20 per cent.
By 2020 the share of renewable energy in the transport fuel sector in Europe must be at least 10 per cent.