Biofuels in Australia

Biofuel in Australia is available both as biodiesel and as ethanol fuel, which can be produced from sugarcane, sorghum or grains. There are currently three commercial producers of fuel ethanol in Australia, all on the East Coast.

Legislation imposes a 10% cap on the concentration of fuel ethanol blends, except those marketed as having a higher concentration such as E85. Blends of 90% unleaded petrol and 10% fuel ethanol are commonly referred to as E10, which is available through service stations operating under the BP, Caltex, Shell and United brands as well as those of a number of smaller independents. Not surprisingly, E10 is most widely available closer to the sources of production in Queensland and New South Wales. The Australian Government has set a target for the sale of 350 million litres of E10 fuel each year by 2010.

Recently BP Australia celebrated a milestone with over 100 million litres of the new BP Unleaded with renewable ethanol being sold to Queensland motorists. In partnership with the Queensland Government, the Canegrowers organisation launched a regional billboard campaign in March 2007 to promote the renewable fuels industry.

Australia is drafting new biodiesel legislation in 2008.

Caltex markets a B2 biodiesel blend suitable for all vehicles since 2006 and a B5 biodiesel blend following trials in 2005.

In 2014 the average total annual production of biofuels in Australia is approximately 800 million litres. This includes new ventures into biodiesel and algae-based biofuels. The cultivation of West African oil palms in the South East Asian jungles was first tabled by Australian botanists in the 1930s, but only in recent decades has there been cultivation of West African oil palms in South East Asian jungles. It is hoped that there will be robotic cultivation of these oil palms and that they will be used to make biofuels.