New research centre to fast-track clean fuels




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A new Australian research hub has been launched to fast-track the creation of clean alternative fuels.

The new $2.3 million Centre for Research into Energy for Sustainable Transport (CREST) at Murdoch University in Perth was officially launched last week. Funded by the Western Australia State Government, it is hoped to provide clean solutions for the country's transport needs.

"This new collaborative research hub will fast-track the creation, testing and commercialisation of clean, alternative fuels by our scientists, which is critical if Australia is to successfully meet the combined challenges of declining petroleum resources and slowing climate change," said John Yovich, Vice Chancellor of the university.

"In the process [it will also] create new green businesses and jobs to boost the state and national economy."

CREST brings together the state's leading researchers in alternative transport fuels and technologies, and their work will assist government and industry to make the transition to new sustainable transport systems, Yovich said.

Murdoch researchers at CREST are currently researching biofuel processing modelling, new energy products such as biofuel derived from microalgae, battery chemistry and fuel cells as well as hydrogen energy.

Curtin University is a collaborative partner in the project and bringsto the table expertise in oil and gas technology, as well as chemical engineering processes for the development of hybrid fuels.

The research centre will conduct ongoing reviews of oil depletion and the development of alternative fuels, while developing and testing its own sustainable transport fuels to help keep Australia abreast of the best green technologies.

It will also be involved in testing and evaluating vehicles that use sustainable fuels and demonstrating green transport systems, as well as providing information and training for potential users of these fuels and systems.

Postgraduate learning opportunities through CREST are also hoped to encourage the education and development of future researchers in the field of sustainable transport.