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Sustainable energy project with global implications

A breakthrough sustainable energy technology at the University of Newcastle (UON) could help solve the global challenge of rural electrification in developing countries.
The $1.1 million project, led by Dr Kalpit Shah and Professor Behdad Moghtaderi, both based at UON's Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER), will establish a demonstration site of the technology in India, which could then be deployed to other developing nations.
Funded by Industry partner VTara Energy Group Pty Ltd, the project is aimed at solving a missing link in the gasification of biomass – using agricultural waste and byproduct to generate heat and electricity.
Professor Behdad Moghtaderi said the technology could have implications for almost two billion people globally who do not have access to modern fuels such as oil and gas.
"Inadequate access to energy threatens human health, economic growth and limits opportunities for education.
This project is an example of the role Australia can play in supporting global economic development.
"By collaborating with industry, we can apply research knowledge to real world problems with great impact," said Professor Moghtaderi.
Dr Shah said the demonstration plant will address key issues including fuel flexibility, tar removal and heat recovery in the gasifier.
"Our research will deliver the science to overcome the technological barriers associated with biomass utilisation, enabling this sustainable energy technology to be rolled out on a global scale," said Dr Shah