Renewable energy in the Australian red meat processing industry & the viability of paunch as a biofuel

Masters Thesis


Spence, Jennifer E.. 2012. Renewable energy in the Australian red meat processing industry & the viability of paunch as a biofuel. Masters Thesis Master of Science. University of Southern Queensland.
Title

Renewable energy in the Australian red meat processing industry & the viability of paunch as a biofuel

TypeMasters Thesis
Authors
AuthorSpence, Jennifer E.
SupervisorCarter, Brad
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameMaster of Science
Number of Pages172
Year2012
Abstract

This thesis has investigated the feasibility of using renewable energy sources at Churchill Abattoir in South-east Queensland. Three widely utilised renewable energy sources (algae for biodiesel production, solar photovoltaics and wind turbines) were assessed, and found to be not cost-effective at current electricity prices. However, the use of solar thermal energy to dry paunch (a waste product cumulated at the abattoir) seems a promising way to produce useful biomass to replace boiler coal for water heating and for pyrolysis to generate electricity.

The payback periods for photovoltaics were found to be 24 – 56 years depending on the capital cost of the photovoltaic system and the competing electricity price currently makes photovoltaics uneconomic. Photovoltaic research and development however, suggests the use of solar panels will become viable in the future. Wind turbines were found to have a payback period of 67 years, and due to the low wind speed at Churchill Abattoir wind power is unlikely to become feasible in the future. Algae photobioreactors were investigated, but the technology does not appear to be a feasible preposition for Churchill Abattoir at the present time. On the other hand, the drying properties of paunch waste produced at the abattoir were investigated, and average drying rates of 1.2 – 6.1 % reduction per hour in moisture content was measured. The drying rate of this paunch demonstrates that paunch waste from the abattoir can be dried to a useful moisture content thus, making it a viable biofuel. The drying rates also demonstrate that increased air temperature can significantly increase drying rates.

Keywordsrenewable energy sources; Churchill Abattoir; red meat processing industry; paunch; biofuels
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020319999. Other biological sciences not elsewhere classified
401703. Energy generation, conversion and storage (excl. chemical and electrical)
Byline AffiliationsDepartment of Biological and Physical Sciences
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