QLD and WA University research to aid biofuel production

The Western Australian Government has announced funding of $1.5million to help establish the Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology at the University of Western Australia. The Centre will be conducting world-leading research to discover the answer to questions such as whether plants can solve the world’s energy crisis or world hunger.

Industry and Enterprise Minister Francis Logan said the new centre would look into plant metabolism to understand how plants grow and how they allocate resources to different products, organs and life processes.

The centre is the first of its kind in Australia and will look at ways to increase the food and fuel potential of plants. It will also help to discover how plants can be the key to a clean future.

The Queensland Government is providing $2 million to the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) for research into ethanol production from sugarcane and from bagasse, the leftover biomass from sugar production.

Scientists from Queensland University of Technology are developing a sugarcane that makes its own enzymes, dramatically reducing the cost of turning bagasse into ethanol. This would enable the whole sugarcane crop to be used producing a second revenue stream from the bagasse. The research also has the potential to be transferred to other crops such as sweet sorghum and cassava.

Syngenta is set to partner with QUT researchers and leading Australian agbiotech company Farmacule BioIndustries to build a world-class centre for ethanol and biofuels from sugar cane. The Syngenta Centre for Sugar Cane Biofuel Development will be established at QUT in Brisbane.

Source: WA Business News, University of Western Australia, The Hon. Anna Bligh via Sunshine Coast Daily, PR Newswire

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