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Biorefining is the conversion of biomass from agricultural and forestry industries into bioproducts, such as chemicals, plastics, fuels, animal feeds, nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals. QUT is a pioneer in biorefining research and innovation in Australia. Through its Institute for Future Environments and Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities, QUT has the expertise and infrastructure for research and demonstration of the production of bioproducts from agricultural biomass. This expertise covers a wide spectrum of areas, including synthetic biology, microbial biotechnology and fermentation, enzyme engineering, organic and carbohydrate chemistry, process engineering, techno-economic assessment, system analysis and value chain assessment.

QUT is seeking to develop high-impact biorefining technologies and to support the industry’s establishment and growth in Australia. Increased collaboration between industry, government and research organisations is required to build an environment in which these new technologies can be successfully deployed at scale. The benefits will be new incomes streams for farmers and manufacturers, new jobs in regional areas and a more profitable and sustainable agricultural sector.

We are currently leading a $4.5 million Australian Government and industry-funded project to develop technologies to convert agricultural and forestry by-products like sugarcane bagasse, cotton gin trash and wood chips into enhanced animal feeds, biochemical and biofuels. We have also established national and international research partnerships to lead bio-industry development.