Peter Ashman

Peter Ashman

  • Position Past Chair

With colleagues in the Centre for Energy Technology (CET), Professor Ashman works on the development of new processes and technologies in the field of solar gasification.

This group has been assessing process options for the production of synthetic transport fuels using solar gasification with coal, biomass and agricultural residues as feedstocks.

They are also conducting experiments to assess the impact of intense solar radiation on the pyrolysis and gasification of solid fuels and the impact on ash formation and ash agglomeration mechanisms. They are planning larger-scale experiments making use of a unique 50kW solar simulator which is currently being constructed.

Professor Ashman is also active in research leading to the commercial exploitation of microalgae and other biomass feedstocks, including sewage sludge, for the production of renewable biofuels.

With colleagues, Professor David Lewis, Professor Michael Borowitzka (Murdoch University) and others, he has been involved in a large program of work to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of a fully integrated process for biofuel production from microalgae in saline water.

This process includes the use of a technology called hydrothermal liquefaction, which can be applied to a range of wet biomass feedstocks for the production of a bio-crude oil that could, potentially, be further processed to drop-in biofuels within existing petroleum refineries.

This research led to the establishment of a joint venture company, Muradel Pty Ltd, which has been commercialising and further developing this technology.

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