Dispatchable renewable electricity production with net-negative CO2 emissions

BioDICE is an emerging, dispatchable renewable generation technology – a step technology with the potential to underpin Australia’s commitment to a major reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Electricity can be more efficiently generated from biomass via char-water slurry used to fuel highly efficient medium-speed diesel engines. This new technology overcomes the poor economics and issues surrounding conventional waste-to-energy via steam plants. Through higher conversion efficiency and lower capital costs, BioDICE has the potential to generate twice the amount of electricity for half the generation cost. BioDICE’s dispatchablity is another critical attribute.

The scope is large, using just two examples of potential biomass resources (invasive wattle from the Kimberley and purpose growth short rotation eucalypt or acacia on land to be rehabilitated in NSW) have the potential to generate 50% of Australia’s current electricity demand – as fully dispatchable power. This capacity has the potential to replace all fossil fuel generation and cover the generation shortfall from intermittent renewables – noting that there will be competing uses for biomass, for example, the production of aviation fuel.

As the component processes have been proven at the laboratory scale, and the economics appear attractive, the main barrier to commercialisation is a demonstration of the fuel cycle – initially via long-duration laboratory scale operation of an adapted engine, the objective of the present proposal, to establish the vehicle for larger semi-commercial demonstrations leading to commercial deployment.