Centre for Macroalgal Resources and Biotechnology (MACRO)

James Cook University

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Algae growing ponds

The Centre's research includes the assessment of valuable bioproducts and biotechnology based on the unique biochemistry and properties of algae and the co-location of algal production with existing industries for bioremediation (treating  waste streams). We are investigating both marine and freshwater macroalgae and the ability of some species to grow in industrial waste water. We aim to develop and commercialise macroalgae for fuel, feed and fertiliser applications. We assess how macroalgae can be produced using non-arable land and how biomass-derived fuels may be used to reduce the reliance on petroleum for combustion.

Website https://research.jcu.edu.au/portfolio/collaboration?centre=MACRO

Key science sectors

Strengths and capabilities

  • Innovative macroalgal technology
  • Waste water remediation
  • Isolate and characterise natural products of macroalgae
  • Biochemical analysis of biomass
  • on-site remediation of aquatic waste streams
  • Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology

Facilities and major equipment

  • Indoor & outdoor cultivation facilities for macroalgae (1000-10,000L)
  • specialised High Rate Algal Ponds (30,000L)
  • Specialised drying and pelletising facilities for macroalgae
  • Algal chemistry laboratory
  • Medium Pressure Chromatography Equipment
  • Metals analysis laboratory
  • Ultrafiltration

Number of research staff

Upto 20 research staff


Building 180, James Cook University, Townsville, 4811

Lead researcher

  • Professor Rocky de Nys—Innovative applications for macroalgal resources and biotechnologies; Bioremediation of aquatic and industrial waste waters

Organisation type

  • University Research Centre

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