Market developments in biofuels have raised the commercial potential for alternatives to petrochemical fuels to be produced from waste such as plastic bags. High production costs currently put biofuels at a market disadvantage.
Technology that produces fuel from coal or liquid gas is already used to turn biomass into energy in a process called biomass to liquid (BTL). A spokesman for the NNFCC said: Through establishing BTL as a process, the next step is broadening it out to include waste as a [carbon] feedstock.
Three research projects launched by the NNFCC and funded by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs will build a bigger picture of biofuel development in the UK. The research was conducted in partnership with Nexant Chem Systems, Tamutech and Amec.
A BLT technology demonstration plant could be built in the UK in the next few years as the technology is advanced and a pilot plant is already in operation in Germany.