Bioenergy resource in Victoria

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Organic matter, or biomass, can be converted into bioenergy (heat and/or electricity) using a variety of technologies. The costs of bioenergy facility vary significantly with resource, site constraints and technology.

Victoria has a significant opportunity to develop a large bioenergy industry, with feed stocks ranging from agricultural and industry wastes, to purpose-grown crops.

Materials that can be used in to generate bioenergy include:

  • Waste streams from the agricultural industry,
  • Municipal landfill wastes (solids and gases),
  • Forestry and food industry residues; and
  • Agricultural or energy crops.

Biomass is categorised as either dry (e.g. straw, poultry litter, forestry residues) or wet (e.g. slurry from piggeries and dairies).

Dry fuels are typically combusted to produce energy. Combustion of dry fuels can take the form of gasification, utilising turbines and engines, or pyrolysis, a thermal treatment that produces solid, liquid or gaseous fuels in the absence of air.

Wet fuels can be digested to produce methane-rich biogas in anaerobic digesters. Anaerobic digesters and landfills use the same process of bacterial decomposition in the absence of oxygen to release biogases subsequently used in internal combustion engines.

Bioenergy incorporates a wide variety of resources. A representative sample of the different categories of bioenergy resources available are mapped below.

Agricultural Resources-Sows

bioenergy agriculture

Key: Agriculture Resource Example - Number of sows per postcode

Bioenergy, agriculture legend

The above map indicates the number of sows per postcode and was sourced from the Victorian Piggeries Association. Bioenergy from agriculture generally comes in the form of wastes such as animal or crop waste.

Organic Processing Resources- Processing and Manufacturing Plants

bioenergy - organic

Key: Organic Processing Resource Example - processing and manufacturing plants

Bioenergy, organic legend

Processing and Manufacturing plants across Victoria produce waste during various production processes. The waste produced has the potential to be converted into energy that can be directly used on site.

Municipal Solid Waste Resources-Household Waste

Bioenergy - MSW

Key: Municipal Solid Waste Resource Example - total kilograms of waste per household

Bioenergy, MSW legend

The above map shows municipal Solid Waste by Local Government Area. Municipal solid waste incorporates recycling waste, green waste, and garbage waste. These three components make up the total waste shown in the above map. The majority of garbage collected ends up in landfill sites. Landfill sites can be used to produce electricity from the decomposing process of garbage and subsequent gas produced.

Sewage Resources-Sludge

bioenergy - sewage

 Key: Sewage Resource Example - Dry tonnes of sludge produced per year

Bioenergy, sewage legend

Dry sludge is a waste produced within Victorian's sewage network. It is recorded by water authority boundaries and was sourced from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Wood Resources-Construction and Demolition Waste

Bioenergy - wood

Key: Wood Resource Example - Construction and Demolition tonnes ('000) produced per year 

Bioenergy, wood legend

Construction and Demolition waste is recorded for Regional Waste Management groups. Other wood waste resources include waste from commercial and industrial development and also from timber processing.


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