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International sugarcane biomass utilisation consortium Mount Edgecombe, South Africa July 11 2006 Status report-Australia Graeme Bullock CRC-Sugar Industry.

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Presentation on theme: "International sugarcane biomass utilisation consortium Mount Edgecombe, South Africa July 11 2006 Status report-Australia Graeme Bullock CRC-Sugar Industry."— Presentation transcript:

1 International sugarcane biomass utilisation consortium Mount Edgecombe, South Africa July Status report-Australia Graeme Bullock CRC-Sugar Industry Innovation through Biotechnology Queensland University of Technology (Sugar Research and Innovation) Farmacule BioIndustries Pty Ltd

2 Current biomass utilisation in the Australian sugar industry 1. Cogeneration of renewable electricity for the public grid 5 new/recent facilities from 20-60MWe 2 under construction or planned Some use of supplementary biomass fuel Numerous small scale (1-10MWe) based on older infrastructure Estimated installed capacity ~ 290MWe Generally poor return on capital invested

3 Current biomass utilisation in the Australian sugar industry 2. Stockfeed production Alkali/steam treated bagasse: one small plant (30,000 tpy max) Whole-cane harvesting for stockfeed (“Cow- candy”) : option pursued by a group of canegrowers when a mill closed (proceeding to large pilot scale). Harvesting of green leaves and tops for cattle feed: dried/baled 3. Furfural production (planned)

4 Research agenda BSES survey of sugarcane genotype attributes Assessed economic value of traits for cogeneration and ethanol production Concluded that selection for these purposes was not warranted, but could be justified by sustained high oil prices Breeding program monitors relevant characteristics

5 Research agenda (2) CRC – Sugar Industry Innovation through Biotechnology Organic acids production Lignin value-added products and applications Enzymic hydrolysis of cellulosic material

6 Research agenda (3) Queensland University of Technology (SRI) Thermal conversion of biomass to biofuels: Syngas to ethanol Bio-crude/biodiesel production Biomass biorefinery – multiple commodities from an integrated process Energy efficiency to create surplus bagasse Leaf and trash recovery technology development

7 The bio-refining process Bagasse Feedstock pretreatment Primary fractionation Carbohydrate Lignin Pulp Ethanol functionalization Paints Resins Coatings Films Basic chemicals

8 Mackay pilot biorefinery A$3.1M grant from Queensland government to QUT to construct Phase 1 Federal government (NCRIS) considering matching funding to complete the facility R&D grant from Qld Government to develop and demonstrate the biorefinery technology Strong interest both in Australia and among large multinationals

9 Research agenda (4) Genetically modified sugarcane CSR/UQ “sugarbooster project (patent published) QUT/BSES/CRC-SIIB development of agro- bacterium vector for cane transformation Farmacule BioIndustries (QUT spinoff) using gene activation and amplification to over- express enzymes in sugarcane (underlying patent is published) BSES/CSIRO joint venture program

10 Pre-competitive or commercial? Most of the research agenda involves the commercial evaluation/application of protected IP or the creation of protectable IP. Industrial proponents/funders for much of the program have very high expectations of confidentiality and preferential rights to commercial exploitation


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