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Bioenergy and energy from waste

High-energy algal fuels

James Cook University conducted 8 demonstration scale macroalgae projects to clean waste-water and produce bio-crude.

  • $5.00m

    ARENA Funding

  • $11.00m

    Total Project Value

Benefits

The project integrated macroalgal biomass production into existing industrial infrastructure for the bioremediation of toxins from wastewater and the reduction of carbon emissions through photosynthesis. The biomass did not compete for arable land or quality water by being cultivated in waste water.

  • Project basics

    ARENA Program

    Advanced biofuels

    Lead Organisation

    James Cook University

    Start Date

    Nov 2013

    Project Partners

    N/A

    Location

    Queensland, Townsville

    Status

    Past

Project Basics

ARENA Program

Advanced biofuels

Lead Organisation

James Cook University

Start Date

Nov 2013

Project Partners

N/A

Location

Queensland, Townsville

Status

Past

Achievements and lessons learned

The JCU project ran 2 parallel programs, Research and development and Demonstration.

Research and development

  • 40 species were assessed to select six for detailed testing
  • Projected value of biomass increased by 45-77% with the extraction of protein
  • The results of the studies demonstrated that co-products are critical to product value and the quality of biocrude.

Demonstration

James Cook University conducted 8 demonstration scale macroalgae projects. The size of these projects ranged from 32,500 L to 160,000 L. Six of these projects included bioremediation of wastewater. The projects were located at James Cook University, TCC Cleveland Bay Waste Treatment Plant, Tarong Power Station, Good Fortune Bay Fisheries and Pacific Reef Fisheries.

Outcome

The future direction of JCU’s algae program will be in the application of macroalgae for waste water treatment and processing the spent algal biomass to biofuel and biochar.

Project history

This project was funded under the Advanced Biofuel Investment Readiness (ABIR) Program. The objectives of the ABIR initiated under the previous Australian Centre for Renewable Energy (ACRE) in 2012 were to progress the commercialisation of advanced biofuels by building the investment case for significant and scalable pre-commercial demonstration projects for the production of high energy, drop-in advanced biofuels in Australia.

More information

Final report (PDF 2MB)

One of the demonstration projects operating as a result of this project is at Pacific Reef Fisheries.

View aerial footage of the bioremediation of waste water in a commercial setting >>

Contact information

Professor Rocky de Nys

+61 7 4781 4412

rocky.denys@jcu.edu.au