To the average Australian, the concept of “carbon capture” seems to have rapidly become a pie in the sky concept. The Rudd government came to power with a green agenda and set aside a lump of money in the budget finance carbon capture development, but the Gillard government has since scaled back its budget allocation in the race for surplus, at the same time introducing a carbon tax. When one talks of carbon capture the assumption is one of geosequestration – the pumping of CO2 into rock fissures in the hope the carbon will go away and not come back. Geosequestration development has to today amounted to a lot of talk but little action.
On the other side of the coin, airlines around the world are among those in the private sector looking at practical solutions to carbon emission reduction, and several carriers have been busy test-flying aircraft powered by various biofuel mixes. Commercial flights are in the offing. Airlines nevertheless represent only one sector investing practical ways of reducing a carbon footprint.
Germany’s Lufthansa is one such airline leading the charge towards substituting its standard fuels for cleaner biofuels. As part of its development process, Lufthansa signed a memorandum of understanding with Alage.Tec late last year to evaluate the potential of the company’s algae-sourced biofuel production system. For the production of biofuel, the Algae.Tec proprietary algal growth system requires sunlight and CO2 emissions. Neither is hard to find, but yesterday the company passed its first significant milestone when its small demonstration plant in Nowra, NSW, was “switched on” by the NSW minister for Resources and Energy. Read More