Bioprocessing technologies


There are many potential technologies with application for downstream processing of sustainably produced bioproducts. Researchers at QUT are able to draw on extensive experience across many bioprocessing technologies in determining cost effective product separation, purification and upgrading strategies.

Sugarcane processing

Mackay Renewable Biocommodities Pilot Plant

Through its Sugar Research group, QUT has world leading expertise in research in sugarcane processing and sugar production. This includes aspects relating to harvesting, transport optimisation, sugarcane processing and juice extraction, sugar process chemistry, crystallisation, quality, recovery and other aspects of the sugar production process. In addition, this expertise extends to the production of molasses, cogeneration products, biofuels and other diversification products from sugarcane. QUT designs greenfield sugar factories and refineries, and sugar process equipment for installation around the world and undertakes training and process audits for international sugar clients.



QUT is focussed on research and demonstration of the production of a range of bioproducts including biochemicals, biofuels, resins, coatings, adhesives and biopolymers. Of particular interest in recent times has been the production of biochemicals including levulinic acid, phenols, furans and furan derivatives and organic acids. In biofuels, QUT has expertise in the production of ethanol and biodiesel, and also in the production of high heating value advanced hydrocarbons for strategic and aviation applications.

Bioseparation and purification technologies

QUT has expertise in a range of bioseparation and purification technologies. Of particular note is the expertise and infrastructure available for research in solvent extraction, supercritical fluid processes, ion exchange, clarification, crystallisation, distillation, membrane filtration, drying and chromatographic separations. QUT also has expertise in catalytic upgrading of chemicals to higher value products.

Animal feeds

QUT is developing animal feeds with enhanced characteristics including the use of lower cost ingredients and providing enhanced value that promotes weight gain and animal health benefits. Target species currently include ruminants, monogastrics and aquaculture organisms. Enzyme and other additives for animal feeds are being developed for better nutritional outcomes and to ensure greater efficacy at the point of use.

Associate Professor Robert Speight is leading new genetic research that aims to provide a food boost for livestock.