Wastes to Profits Newsletter – Mar 2020


View this email in your browser

Newsletter – March 2020

Wastes to Profits – Annual Workshop 2020

We were able to hold our Annual Workshop on 19 & 20 February 2020 before the reality of the COVID-19 outbreak hit Australia’s shores. We had a great turnout with over 65 people attending the workshop, 35% from our industry partners. The proceedings were spread across two days with:

  • 19th Feb 2020 – Roundtable dinner on sustainable animal feed materials
  • 20th Feb 2020 – Annual Workshop providing an update on project progress and three workshop sessions on paunch utilisation, wastewater treatment and plastics in the sector.

During the Annual Workshop participants developed a shared understanding of the overall progress of the project and the future plans for rapid prototyping through demonstration and pilot trials. Participants collaborated to identify the relevance and potential value of the technologies and products being developed, informed the development and planning of pilot trials, identified potential barriers for adoption and strategies to potentially increase adoption.

The participants got the opportunity to engage with the researchers directly during the poster sessions. The day also provided the research team invaluable time with the industry partners to review and inform the development of the anaerobic digestion assessment tool.

In this newsletter there are four videos that provide you an overview of the annual workshop, benefits of projects like Wastes to Profits, progress to date, future plans and the anaerobic digestion assessment tool. We encourage you to watch the videos and stay in touch.

We welcome your interest, involvement and feedback throughout this 4 year project from 2018 to 2021. Please make sure to visit the website, sign up to the newsletter and encourage your colleagues to do the same. If you need more information or want to become actively involved in the project, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Picture: Wastes to Profits Annual Workshop 2020 attendees 20th Feb 2020.

Doug McNicholl opened the Annual Workshop with an overview of the sectors drivers to adopt environmental innovations and a summary of benefits that projects like Wastes to Profits bring to the sector. Watch part of his opening address here.

“Sustainability is the production of beef in a manner that is socially, environmentally and economically responsible. We do this through the care of natural resources, people in the community, health and welfare of animals, and the drive for continuous improvement.”

Sustainability definition from the Beef Sustainability Framework highlighted by Doug McNicholl at the Wastes to Profits Annual Workshop, 20th Feb 2020.

Prof Ian O’Hara provided an overview of the Wastes to Profits project progress in 2019 and the plans for rapid prototyping through pilot and demonstration trials of the technologies with partners in the future. Watch highlights of the overview here.

Wastes to Profits Annual Workshop 2020 highlights, which included three workshop sessions on paunch utilisation, wastewater treatment and plastics in the sector. Watch highlights of the workshop here.

Dr Peter Harris overview of the waste characterisation, bioenergy potential and mapping activities at the Centre for Agricultural Engineering, University of Southern Queensland. Including the tool for online feasibility assessments. Watch the video here.

COVID-19 impact on the Wastes to Profits project

Right now COVID-19 is having an impact globally on day to day business. The Wastes to Profits project is not immune, and has been disrupted by the outbreak. It is highly likely that the project will be increasingly affected as stricter social distancing rules are implemented.

The first restrictions came in early March 2020 from the Universities and partner organisations limiting domestic and international travel. Most of our partners have also implemented a range of restrictions and business continuity measures.

Our project team have been developing plans to continue to undertake experiments, analyse data, and progress with modelling and report writing. We will continue to make progress to the best of our abilities so that we are in a position to transition to the next stages of pilot and demonstration activities as soon as circumstances allow.

As a society we need to do our best to prevent the spread and impact of COVID-19. We will continue to keep you informed on further developments and look forward to delivering outcomes of benefit to the sector.

The Wastes to Profits Project Overview

The Wastes to Profits project aims to capture a potential market opportunity for the livestock sector in excess of AUD$100 million per year by converting wastes into valuable products.

The Wastes to Profits project brings together stakeholders from across Australia’s animal industries with technology, research and development providers. The project delivers advanced technologies to convert wastes from livestock production and municipal water treatment into fertilisers, feeds, chemicals, and energy products for use in agriculture. The overall aim of the project is to improve productivity and enhance profitability for primary producers.

The project focuses on the following 4 areas;

  • Area 1: Assessing waste streams from the livestock sector, developing business models and pathways to adoption to promote commercial application of project outcomes;
  • Area 2: Developing technologies for improved management of wastes with a key focus on anaerobic digestion as a platform for energy production from waste;
  • Area 3: Developing technologies for the production of nutritionally-advanced feeds; and
  • Area 4: Developing technologies for production of fertilisers, chemicals, plastics, and energy products.

We welcome your interest, involvement and feedback throughout this 4 year project from 2018 to 2021. Please make sure to visit the website, sign up to the newsletter and encourage your colleagues to do the same. If you need more information or want to become actively involved in the project, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Key Contacts

Chair, Wastes to Profits Steering Committee
Doug McNicholl
Program Manager, Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA)
e: dmcnicholl@mla.com.au
p: 0439 275 794

Chief Investigator, Wastes to Profits
Prof Ian O’Hara
Principal Research Fellow, Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
e: i.ohara@qut.edu.au
p: (07) 3138 1551

Project Manager, Wastes to Profits
Lisa van den Berg
Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
e: lisa.vandenberg@qut.edu.au 
p: 07 3138 1415

Share

Tweet

Forward

Acknowledgment

This project is supported by Meat and Livestock Australia through funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment as part of its Rural R&D for Profit program and the partners.