Sustainable ,  Alternative , Renewable  Fuels for Australia's Future :


Replacing non-renewable fossil fuels like petrol was always going to be difficult, because of the amount of energy contained within the energy carrier (energy density). A petrol combustion engine is often called a heat engine, because it is notoriously inefficient at around 15%-19%(Toyota Prius ~30%), but such an engine can still push the car ~500kls whilst wasting ~80% of its energy in heat. Such a large amount energy density for fossil fuels exist because of the energy associated with breaking carbon bonds in the hydro-carbon molecules. So to replace the non-renewable fossil fuels and their associated combustive technologies, will be a difficult task.


Conversion from one form of energy to another consumes more useful energy than it yields, for if it could do the opposite by creating energy out of nothing, you could create a perpetual-motion machine violating the laws of physics. Conversion losses are unavoidable so the issue is whether they’re worth incurring. If they were intolerable as a matter of principle then we’d have to stop making gasoline from crude oil (~73–91% efficient from wellhead to retail pump) and electricity from fossil fuel (~29–35% efficient from coal at the power plant to retail meter).

Stationary electricity generators (fossil) fired as well have used combustion technologies in spinning large magnets (turbines) in generating the electricity we have been using for decades as well. Combustive technologies with their associated fossil fuels represent essentially a violent and inefficient process as far as I am concerned, and the future direction must now be clearly understood as being in a realm of non-combustive technologies with greater efficient usage of renewable fuels.

Sustainable fuels for Australia's future has been discussed for some years now, particularly when issues of energy security, Global Warming and Climate Change are highly relevant. The sustained high price of petrol causing inflation and increased costs to motorists, generating ongoing stress is causing growing concern for future sustainability. It was only going to be a matter of time before sustainable alternative fuels needed to be examined. Predictive tools for different fuels become "handy" for decision makers where several hundred cars or buses may be involved for a project for council fleets, company fleets or government fleets, but to actually lead on policy for the future I think not. Real life demonstrations involving many thousands of transport vehicles and several hundred "petrol" stations all dispensing renewable fuels are needed and this is common amongst the main advocates. 

Energy and pollution factors must be solved when considering different sustainable future fuels.

Bio-fuels , Solar fuels.............,

Mandatory ethanol addition is currently on the agenda in NSW by law from around ~year 2010-2012. Whilst ethanol has been available for a number of years its usage has been hampered due to ignorance and fear campaigns. There has been a lot of talk and little action thus far regarding real ethanol usage and greenhouse emissions as a result of usage.


Bio-diesel is currently being used in NSW bus fleets and has a potential for sustained usage.


Western Australia has large reserves of natural gas and this can be compressed (CNG) or made a liquid(LNG).These forms of natural gas now are relevant as alternative fuels as they have demonstrated significant reductions in emissions pollution.HCNG is a blend of 20% Hydrogen and 80% natural gas which further reduces NOx emission by 50% over just natural gas alone.

Transportation with light and heavy vehicles now are well positioned for the adaptation to natural gas blended with hydrogen fuels. As well for bulk transporation hydrogen being bound within at 20% allows for possible transportation( Super Tanker) to destination, then membrane filtration and isolation. Further down the track will see diesel blended with hydrogen for redesigned diesel engines for small heavy vehicles as already displayed in Canada this year-Jan04.Solar Hydrogen Research Pty Ltd T/A HEC consulting has already produced a report on the above which has been distributed nationally across Australia at Ministerial level in April-04.Another  "Stepping stone " but for transporation apart from the above, is hybrid vehicle technology.Hybrid power plants fir light and heavy vehicles should be explored.

The Urban Transport Pollution Reduction Proposal was created earlier in year 2004 addressing alternative fuels, which highlighted HCNG ,the investigation of other fuels and hybrid technologies, along with a demo fleet of FCVs. 

HCNG (Hydrogen compressed natural gas ( HCNG ):




We will of course “step” in this direction with initial programs for greater efficient fossil fuel powered cars, then E85 type Flex Fuel Vehicles to hybrid petrol electric cars, to electric powered cars. This future mix of fuels should see 100s of millions of hybrid vehicles worldwide by year 2020, along with a growing percentage of E-Flex hybrid battery/Hydrogen Fuel Cell(HFC) powered electric vehicles.

We need non-fossil based sustainable fuels for our future as does the rest of the world. Fossil fuels are getting more expensive as demand begins to slowly outstrip supply and may well peak in the next 3-5 years. Renewable fuels like ethanol and bio-diesel are sustainable based on their nature of production and the continued use of the technology that uses such in transport (combustion engine), yet the magnitude of their usage in future transport is subject to strong policy by government; This could be said for any future sustainable fuel.

Predictive tools for different fuels become "handy" for decision makers where several hundred cars or buses may be involved for a project for council fleets, company fleets or government fleets, but to actually lead on policy for the future I think not. Real life demonstrations involving many thousands of transport vehicles and several hundred "petrol" stations all dispensing renewable fuels are needed and this is common amongst the main advocates.

A "Chicken and egg" scenario exists where car makers won't build cars that run on alternative sustainable fuels unless there are sufficient dispensation stations selling the alternative fuels. Dispensation stations won't be built unless there are sufficient numbers of cars using such fuels to justify their construction -and so it goes.

The Toyota Prius is now not only popular but selling well as a petrol/electric hybrid. Clearly petrol like diesel are both readily available today as they have been relied upon for decades, so the Toyota Prius has abundant petrol stations for owners to fill up from. Other cars using renewable fuels as above need innovative strategies and policy laws to get them activated. Once safety and insurance standards are satisfied, governments must make laws that allow alternative fuel makers to penetrate the market; negative practices must be prohibited.

Natural gas as a fuel can be dispensed from a very large natural gas pipeline network in Australia, as it has applied to NG powered buses in NSW since the 1980's.NG for light vehicles can as well be achieved yet to date is mainly encouraged for heavy vehicles by the AGO. Heavy vehicles can use as well hydrogen compressed natural gas (HCNG) as well as hydrogen has.

Australian car makers need to be given incentives to make hybrid cars , cars that are MUCH lighter, and cars that can operate on sustainable fuels. Australian car makers must change or they will be become extinct; the world must now start changing. 

Australia's dependence of foreign crude oil must diminish significantly between years 2010 and 2020.Sustainable fuels must be synchronized with the associated transport technologies that operate on such.

By year 2020 there will be a significant % of hybrid powered cars in the mix, and this must be 80% plus. Of these hybrid cars with a high representative percentage in the year 2020 mix, hybrid hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles must as well hold a high percentage within the hybrid car mix. A full zero emission representative for the masses must "stand out" by year 2020.Hydrogen is our destiny so we must remember that at all times.    Stephen  V   Zorbas   

ExxonMobil makes 'biggest' gas find

By Nigel Wilson, Energy writer


Australian Natural Gas article

EXXONMOBIL has made the biggest gas discovery in Australian exploration history 200km off the West Australian coast, adding more than one-fifth to the nation's resources of natural gas.The huge Jansz field has been described by ExxonMobil as a world-class find containing about 20 trillion cubic feet of gas – equivalent to 3.3 billion barrels of oil.If ExxonMobil's initial estimates are accurate – and the company has a reputation for being conservative in detailing discoveries – the Jansz site contains the equivalent of 20 years of Australia's current gas production.Australia uses about 1 TcF of gas annually to satisfy domestic demand and export orders. Australia's known gas reserves represent about 2 per cent of world reserves. ExxonMobil, the world's biggest oil company, believes Jansz has the potential to add billions of dollars to Australia's exports.

Australia's biggest finds before Jansz were North Rankin, a 12 TcF find in Western Australia, the $14 billion North West Shelf gas project, and Gorgon, a discovery northwest of Barrow Island, also in Western Australia, that holds 14 TcF.Most of Australia's domestic gas comes from Bass Strait, which, at its peak, held about 10 TcF of reserves.ExxonMobil's partner in Jansz is fellow US oil major ChevronTexaco. Both own 50 per cent of the find.Neither would be forced to divest any interest in the field should they decide to develop the gas.ExxonMobil's Australian exploration director, Doug Schwebel, said yesterday the find was the biggest the company had made anywhere in the past 12 months.

Despite being 200km off the West Australian coast, and 1350m below the ocean surface, development of Jansz is well within the capacity of modern oil production technology.Adding to the attraction of Jansz is that any processing infrastructure needed for a new project could be based on Barrow Island, where ChevronTexaco already has oil and gas facilities.In a brief statement released yesterday, ExxonMobil confirmed that exploratory drilling on the Jansz field had indicated the presence of a world-class resource.The field extends beyond the boundaries of the exploration permit into another in which ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco are partnered by two other foreign majors, Shell and BP. ExxonMobil said, including the extension, "it is estimated that the field contains about 20 TcF of recoverable sales gas"."ExxonMobil believes this to be the largest gas discovery ever to have been made in Australia," Mr Schwebel said. He noted that it lay solely within Australia's economic zone and would not be affected by native title claims. Mr Schwebel said another well, Jansz-3, would likely be drilled in late May or early June to allow tests to be made that would provide further details of the resource.

Sustainable Living in Australia