Our vision is to develop sustainable solar powered fuel, bio-product and bio-remediation systems based on microalgae.
Why is the project important?
Fuel: The development of CO2-neutral fuels for the future is one of the most urgent challenges facing our society for three reasons: to minimise the effects of climate change, protect against fuel price shocks & to provide a secure basis for economic development. Microalgae biofuel systems are increasingly recognised as a scalable technology capable of tapping the huge solar energy resource available to us (~5500 ZJ yr-1) and converting it to chemical energy or fuel (Global energy demand ~0.5ZJ yr-1). This is important because fuels currently supply 83% of global energy demand. In contrast, almost all other renewable energy technologies (e.g. photovoltaic & wind) target the much smaller electricity market (17% of demand).
Bioproducts: Microalgae capture solar energy and absorb CO2 and produce biomass. This biomass can be fractionated to make a wide range of bioproducts such as, protein rich animal and fish feeds, nutraceuticals, pigments, chemical feedstocks and high value products. This will be increasingly important as the global population increases from 7 to 9 billion people by 2050.
Bioremediation: Microalgae absorb nutrients from their surroundings. As such they can be used for a wide range of bioremediation projects and sustainable biofuel systems.
How will the SBRC make a difference?
The Solar Biofuels Research Centre provides an advanced pilot scale test facility and ancillary laboratories for the development of advanced microalgae systems for the production of biofuels, bioproducts and bioremediation. It is designed to provide a research hub to build synergy between like minded industry and university partners skilled in biology, engineering and systems development.
What are we trying to achieve?
We are focused on developing advanced, sustainable, high efficiency and profitable microalgae systems for the production of food, fuel, bio-product and bioremediation systems for a growing population.
Story about SBRC: The SBRC was founded through the support of a National and International Research Alliances Program (NIRAP) supported by the Queensland Government, KBR, Neste Oil, Siemens and Cement Australia as well as The University of Queensland's Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), University Bielefeld and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. The SBRC was founded to develop advanced, sustainable, high efficiency and profitable microalgae systems for the production of food, fuel, bio-product and bioremediation systems for a growing population. This research hub encourages collaborative scientific research and scale up projects to be conducted with a vision of building a sustainable Queensland and Australia.