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 biomass and waste 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.

Our projects

Our research program team oversees the following projects.

Soft sugarcane processing

We're developing strategies to minimise the impacts of processing soft sugarcane varieties and performing an industry cost benefit analysis as part of a Sugar Research Australia project.

Biofertiliser development

Dr Zhanying Zhang is developing an innovative process for converting biosolids to a safe hydrochar biofertiliser as part of an Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship.

Advancing the biorefining sector

In partnership with Mercurius Australia we're developing biorefining technology and commercialisation opportunities in Queensland.

Pan design

Professor Ross Broadfoot is investigating pan design and operational changes to suit Australian pan stages operating on low pressure vapour.

Program team

Dr Geoff Kent

Program Leader

Professor Ross Broadfoot

Chief Investigator

Professor William Doherty

Chief Investigator

Professor Ian O'Hara

Chief Investigator

Professor Robert Speight

Chief Investigator

Dr Kameron Dunn

Chief Investigator

Dr Anthony Mann

Chief Investigator

Dr Floren Plaza

Chief Investigator

Dr Darryn Rackemann

Chief Investigator

Mr Hakan Bakir

Chief Investigator

Mr Neil McKenzie

Chief Investigator

Mr David Moller

Chief Investigator

Dr Lalehvash Moghaddam

Chief Investigator

Contact us

Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy

Level 3, H Block
Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane QLD 4000 Australia

Postal address

Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy
GPO Box 2434
Brisbane QLD 4001