A device that converts coconut husks and native jatropha plant into biofuel is gaining traction in Papua New Guinea as Biofuel Partnerships’ first export deal.
The invention significantly impacts the field of distributed biodiesel processing and changes the way machinery in third world territories is powered.
Chairman John Edwards is hesitant to release growth figures but indicated strong export deals ahead in countries including India, Africa, South America and Thailand.
“We’re very excited about the prospects for export sales over the next 12 months,” he says.
“After three years in design and development, the BioCube is here, in the field and working well. We anticipate the demand for the BioCube to increase steadily throughout the coming years as awareness and usage grows.”
Several design options permit the device to provide electrical power, fuel or a mixture of both. Units are sold for US$200,000 each.
Technical director and founder Sandy Kelly, says the machine has run continuously for months without breakdowns in PNG.
“We’re delighted with the early trial results. Prior to the trials, the production design was reviewed and, despite the strength of our first BioCube, we identified a few areas in which the design could be improved to reduce manufacturing costs and to use the space more efficiently.
“These have been well received by our manufacturing partner,” says Kelly, who showcased his invention on the ABC’s New Inventors program.
Increased mining activity in target export territories are expected to propel sales for the Molendinar-based company.
Director Peter Wilken predicts demand for alternative energy – in particular for liquid fossil fuel alternatives for transportation and industry – to grow throughout the decade as the price of fossil oil continues to rise.
“The BioCube will appeal to many markets but is likely to appear first in pioneering alternative energy markets,” he says.
“These markets seek greater energy independence and lower expensive imported fossil fuel costs with cleaner solutions that are less harmful to the environment and their people. They have a growing demand for energy and good feedstock growth conditions yet still have high levels of underemployment, particularly in rural areas. The BioCube is the perfect solution.”