The Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy’s Bioprocessing Program enables the processing of a wide range of agricultural commodities, by-products and waste streams to produce value-added products.

We are internationally recognised as a leader in developing innovative, real-world solutions for the sugar industry. We focus on providing high quality research, education services, training and consulting solutions to the Australian and international sugarcane processing industries. We are also leading the research on conversion of low-cost biocommodities, residues and wastes from crop, food and meat and livestock industries into valuable fuels, chemicals, animal feed, food and materials.

Real-world innovation

The program develops scalable and real-world impact processing technologies. Our Mackay Renewable Biocommodities Pilot Plant is a unique research and development facility to demonstrate technologies developed from laboratory at scale. The pilot plant has been used to demonstrate several biomass and waste processing technologies with success, including processing technologies for biomass pretreatment and waste resource recovery, fermentation technologies for biofuels and bioproducts, and feed production technologies.

Our interdisciplinary team provides engineering and chemistry services to support the full range of operations typical of a major agricultural manufacturing supply chain. We work to improve production yield of chemical processing operations, quality of products, energy efficiency, cost reduction and increase co-generation opportunities and biomass availability.

We’re innovating the sugar industry by developing improved processing methods for the following areas of production.

  • Harvesting, transporting and cleaning
  • Biomass handling, combustion, storage and logistics
  • Reducing environmental impact
  • Cane preparation, milling and diffusion
  • Sugar processing including clarification, filtration, evaporation, crystallisation, sugar separation, drying and refining

We research, develop and demonstrate the viable production of a range of bioproducts including biofuels, resins, coatings, adhesives and biopolymers. Our processes also enable the production of biochemicals including levulinic acid, phenols, furans and furan derivatives and organic acids. In biofuels, we have expertise in the production of ethanol and biodiesel, and also in the production of high heating value advanced hydrocarbons for strategic and aviation applications.

What we do

Program leader

Research team