Greener fuel will finally come to South Africa with the announcement by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) that R5.1 billion will be made available to develop liquid biofuels. The money will be used to support the production of 300 million litres of greener fuels every year from 2016 onwards.The project will explore feedstock such as maize, sugar cane, sorghum, soya beans and algae for fuel generation which includes bioethanol and biodiesel. It has been estimated by the sugar companies that replacing only 10% of the country’s liquid fuel supply with sugar-based bioethanol could create 110 000 jobs in the industry. Brazil has employed this self-same method with great success.
What may be problematic is that while greener fuels will be better for the environment, the increase in the production of feedstock would increase water consumption. Maize however, will not be used due to the constant threat of food security while sorghum’s demand has declined sufficiently to include it as a potential for feedstock. The construction of a sorghum plant at Cradock, which will produce 90 million litres of bioethanol a year, is set to commence this year.
Research on algae as a source for fuel is currently being conducted by Sasol, Rhodes University and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
Standard Bank’s advisory team on biofuels says that South Africa should take advantage of the increased gas and oil exploration in Africa and use the full extent of its gas resources, if natural gas was to become a strategic part of the energy plan, as the National Development Plan envisaged. Facilities, such as those for gas processing, could also assist in reducing South Africa’s dependence of liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas would also assistEskom with is current seasonal load management challenges.All of these projects, however, were a Plan B for the country in nuclear power generation fails for whatever reason.
Source Article from http://www.infrastructurene.ws/2012/08/30/biofuel-on-the-south-african-horizon/
Biofuel on the South African horizon
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