Awards shine spotlight on bioenergy innovators

Friday, 15 November, 2019

Awards shine spotlight on bioenergy innovators

This year’s Bioenergy Innovation Awards celebrated the industry’s innovators at the State Library of Queensland in Brisbane as part of the Bioenergy Strong 2019 two-day conference.

The awards promote the achievements of the Australian bioenergy industry as well as domestic and international work in bioenergy. The event provides an opportunity for members of Bioenergy Australia to receive recognition for their projects, leadership and innovations that support the ongoing development and growth of the bioenergy industry in Australia.

Award winners:

Bioenergy Future Leader Award: Lisa Randone

A key team member at Bioenergy Australia, Lisa has positioned herself as an industry advocate and expert. Her extensive responsibilities include a large number of submissions to state and federal governments as well as running the bioenergy working groups.

Lisa’s contributions to the industry have been remarkable and she will be a force in leading the industry into the modern bioeconomy.

Bioenergy Community Leadership Award: Mount Alexander Sustainability Group

Mount Alexander Sustainability Group has been recognised for its significant collaborative effort in driving a clear vision from the outset.

The project embraces the principles of a circular economy, is highly innovative, delivers no waste streams and delivers a significant benefit to the local community.

Bioenergy Research Leadership Award: Microbiogen

After more than a decade of research and development, Microbiogen has developed a series of robust yeast biocatalysts for the global ethanol market.

The Microbiogen team has been working in collaboration with Novozymes, with the first commercial products released to produce biofuels.

Microbiogen-developed yeast is now being used in 25% of US bioethanol production.

Bioenergy Technology Innovation Award: Blantyre Farms

Blantyre Farms’ technology using covered anaerobic ponds reflects a truly closed loop approach to waste management. This efficient and cost-effective technology is an on-farm biogas production system that offsets Blantyre’s on-farm energy costs.

Manure effluent from Blantyre’s piggery flows into a covered anaerobic pond, the biogas is captured and refined into methane, which runs the generators to provide electricity and heating for their use onsite. Not only is Blantyre producing energy and reducing emissions, the solid effluent, after the harvest of the biogas, is spread on their paddocks as a complete carbon-based fertiliser. This reduces the purchase of synthetic fertiliser, and is used to grow grain that is fed back to the pigs.

Bioenergy International Award: Licella

Licella was recognised for its global leadership as an Australian company.

Licella’s patented upgrading platform, the Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor (or Cat-HTR), chemically transforms biomass wastes and residues to biocrude, which can be refined into biofuels and biochemicals.

Licella has developed the Cat-HTR technology over 12 years, with three scale-ups of its pilot plant on the NSW Central Coast. Alongside commercial partners Canfor Pulp in Canada, Armstrong Energy in the UK and iQ Renew in Australia, Licella is building the world’s first commercial-scale hydrothermal upgrading plants.

Bioenergy Corporate Leadership Award: Scania

Scania Australia has made significant strides to deliver economically viable, alternative and renewable fuel solutions for the benefits of its customers.

To support this, Scania Australia has signed MOUs with Wilmar Bioethanol Australia, Ecotech Biodiesel, the ENGV Group, Just Biodiesel and Refuelling Solutions, as the first steps in their program to import, distribute, sell, service and maintain vehicles that run on alternative fuels, or hybrids that run on alternative fuels as well.

Bioenergy Government Leadership Award: Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)

This award recognises the leadership position that ARENA has taken in helping to accelerate the uptake of bioenergy, energy from waste and biofuels in Australia. ARENA has supported biofuel, biomass, biogas and biomethane projects including: The Kwinana Energy from Waste project; Southern Oil and Ethtec’s advanced biofuel facilities; a biomass boiler at MSM Milling; ReNu’s biogas facility at the Southern Meats abattoir in Goulburn; and Logan City Council’s wastewater treatment gasification plant.

ARENA has underpinned the development of a range of first-of-a-kind technologies and business models into Australia.

Bioenergy Innovation Small Scale Award: Sydney Water

This award is very much a reflection of how impressed the judges were by the way Sydney Water has shown ongoing commitment and investment into the research and technology needed to extract maximum value from their wastewater treatment facilities.

Sydney Water has realised both environmental and economic benefits of innovation and has led research on the impacts of new organic wastes with different chemical compositions. Their project has delivered research outcomes that will be valuable for the entire industry.

Bioenergy Innovation Large Scale Award: Virgin Australia

This award recognises the commitment, passion and extensive collaboration of the Virgin Australia Sustainable Aviation Fuel Trials.

This project highlights the collaboration of many parties to introduce bio-based renewable jet fuel using the refuelling infrastructure at Brisbane Airport.

This is a world first for the regular use of biojet fuel from sugar and saw a commitment from Virgin to drive leadership and education.

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