Project dates: 01/01/2017 - Ongoing
Sugar factories in Queensland only operate for approximately 23 weeks per year due to the seasonal supply of sugarcane. Potential opportunities exist to build new biofutures industries based on sugar, ethanol, higher value fermentation products and bioenergy from cultivation of Agave grown on lands marginal for sugarcane production and processing in sugarcane factories during the non-crushing season.
Agave is a potential complementary crop to sugarcane for bioethanol and bioenergy production in Australia. Agave field trials and laboratory scale processing research has highlighted the potential of this crop in Queensland. In this project, the partners will demonstrate large field trials of Agave varieties on non-irrigated land in the Atherton Tablelands region of Queensland. Crop management practices will be assessed to optimise cost of production. While the field trial is underway, project partners will demonstrate pilot-scale processing of Agave to produce fermentable sugars, bioethanol and other fermentation products.