The growing demands for energy coupled with ever increasing environmental concerns have allowed the global production of biofuels to rise significantly in recent years. Many countries across the world have begun utilising biofuels on a national scale, while many more are in the process of planning and implementing similar steps. While Australia has an abundance of fossil fuels in the form of coal, natural gas, and oil, and currently employs a variety of alternative energy sources, the technology to produce and implement biofuels in Australia is in its embryonic stage. Today, Australia is using first generation feedstock as the main source for the production of biofuel, but is progressively broadening into second-generation biofuel production technology. Australia has an enormous amount of biomass available in the form of agricultural and forestry residues, bagasse and feedstock currently unused for the production of biofuels. The technology for the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into biofuels warrants further research to maximise yield to the point of industrial feasibility. This review discusses the current state of ethanol production in Australia, the key technological challenges involved in the production of second-generation biofuel and the availability of various kinds of lignocellulosic biomass for biofuel production.
- Fossil fuel