Fuel from willows

Interesting interview with Jim Watson, former President of the Royal Society of NZ on Kathryn Ryan’s Nine to Noon programme this morning (podcast here, but only for a week). Watson, the founder scientist of Genesis Research & Development discusses the new Biojoule project being established at Taupo. A species of willow (not the cricket bat kind) will be grown and harvested to produce ethanol as a biofuel, and lignin, a biological chemical alternative to hydrocarbons from fossil fuel as a feedstock for plastics. Home grown technology in every sense of the word.

2 thoughts on “Fuel from willows”

  1. Jim Watson chaired the Energy Panel of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Its August 2006 report, 2020:Energy Opportunities, was a thorough and highly constructive contribution to the development of a national energy strategy, and it was disappointing to see it given little media attention. One hopes that it is figuring prominently in the government’s current considerations.

  2. The RS report is a very interesting document, and I used it in the research for HT. It’s available here. It suggests that cellulosic ethanol (which is what Jim’s on about) could supply all of NZ’s liquid fuel needs, with a highly valuable by-product in the lignin. Great idea. Let’s do it…

Leave a Reply