Energy and Bioresource Recycling

Our Research


Increasing energy costs are one of the major challenges facing Australian agriculture and a key driver of energy efficiency. Our team is investigating the viability of renewable energy sources and looking at ways to reduce consumption of non-renewable energy on farms and in agricultural industries. Information on optimising irrigation systems performance, energy efficiency, selecting alternative farming systems or methods, best management practices and the benefits of emerging technologies is being developed and outcomes provided to industry.

Our People


Prof Bernadette McCabe

Prof Bernadette McCabe

Research Program Team Lead

Dr Stephan Tait
Dr Stephan Tait

Research Fellow

Dr Serhiy Marchuk
Dr Serhiy Marchuk

Research Assistant

Andrew Hill
Andrew Hill

phd student

Dr Peter Harris
Dr Peter Harris

PD Research Fellow

Torben Grell
Torben Grell

phd student

Payel Sinha
Payel Sinha

phd student

Lee Willaims
Lee Willaims

student

Hannah Churton
Hannah Churton

phd student

Christine Blanchard
Christine Blanchard

phd student

Key Projects


Wastes to Profits - Value proposition for better management of wastes in animal industry supply chains

The project will develop advanced technologies (including biotechnology) for product innovation (new and improved) products to be developed including fertilisers, soil conditioner, animal feeds, energy products and other high value bioproducts (e.g. bioplastics) from wastes.

These technologies will result in increased revenue and reduced costs for producers leading to increased profitability. The program brings together key stakeholders from across Australia’s animal industries supply chain with technology, research and development providers to deliver advanced technologies to convert wastes from intensive animal production (e.g. feedlots), food processing, and municipal water treatment into fertilisers, feeds, chemicals, and energy products for use in agriculture.

Waste to Biofutures Fund

Pilot scale production of granulated organomineral fertilisers. The grant is part of the Waste to Biofutures Fund providing $5 million to help Queensland companies find innovative ways to convert waste into bio-based products. This project will fund pilot equipment to granulate biofertilisers and assist industry in recycling organic waste to create a product that can provide an additional source of revenue.

Clarifying biomethane and small scale biogas options for Australian piggeries

One key success of the Pork CRC Bioenergy Support Program was the establishment of biogas demonstration piggeries, showing real benefits for larger Australian piggeries. The present project will extend this earlier work by documenting a real biogas case study. This will clarify true cost benefit for many smaller Australian piggeries at or near this size and make recommendations on how future profitability and economic feasibility of a small scale installation could be improved.

Fight Food Waste CRC - Making Australian Country Choice circular

This scoping project with Australian Country Choice will identify and clarify economically feasible closedloop concepts for them and their waste streams. It will explore secondary research on solutions that could be adopted
across the red meat processing sector, model the flow of nutrients, energy and water across the supply chain, identify possible closedloop solutions and identify research needs and gaps for future initiatives.

Fight Food Waste CRC - Advancing regional agri-food waste valorisation

The target sectors for the mapping are municipal organic waste (via Toowoomba Regional Council) and the intensive livestock and related food processing industries.

We will work with Toowoomba and Surat Basin  Enterprise (TSBE) Food Leaders Australia and its members to identify business opportunities in the intensive agriculture, food processing and municipal waste industries in the Toowoomba region, review technologies available and gaps identified for processing the waste, and develop a strategy to increase the processing of municipal organics.

DAWE - Pilot to Paddock

Researchers at CAE are partnering on this large research project with The University of Queensland, University of Western Australia, Agriculture Victoria, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries QLD and Scolexia Consulting.

USQ is taking the technical lead in the nationwide research, which is focused on taking manure from various agricultural industries and finding the best ways to turn it into valuable products that can be re-used back on farm. The team is studying different treatment methods for manure and then investigating the products that result for environmental and profitability credentials.

Testimonial


Biofutures Queensland, as part of the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning is delighted to be working with and supporting Professor McCabe and her team at the University of Southern Queensland.

Their work will help agricultural based business reduce costs, waste and emissions, and increase revenue through recycling of organic waste for bioenergy and biofertilizer production.

This will present significant regional development opportunities and improve economic resilience in our agricultural communities.

Michael Burke
Director
Biofutures Queensland
Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government  and Planning