Mackay Renewable Biocommodities Pilot Plant (MRBPP)

Queensland University of Technology

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Biofuel researcher with bagasse and biofuel sample

The Mackay Renewable Biocommodities Pilot Plant, based on the site of an operating sugar factory, is a unique pioneering research and development facility that converts biomass into biofuels, green chemicals and other bioproducts. Part of the Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities, the plant develops and demonstrates a wide range of technologies at the pilot scale and is available for use by industry and research partners. We aim to increase the uptake of renewable bioproduct technologies in Australia by developing innovative, commercially viable products.


Key science sectors

Strengths and capabilities

  • Industrial biotechnology
  • Sugarcane processing
  • Biomass pre
  • treatment and conversion
  • High value product and process development
  • Carbohydrate hydrolysis and fermentation
  • Biomass harvesting, transportation, storage, processing
  • Analytical expertise

Facilities and major equipment

  • Unique biomass reactor constructed from corrosion
  • resistant alloys
  • Equipment for product separation, purification and recovery
  • Mettler Toledo RCe1 reaction calorimeter with in-situ infrared probe
  • Parr, sand-bath and microwave reactors
  • Supercritical CO2 process development unit

Number of research staff

Up to 20 research staff


Racecourse Mill Site, Mackay Sugar Limited, Peak Downs Highway,Racecourse via Mackay QLD 4741

Lead researcher

Achievements of the centre

  • Unique biorefining pilot research facility in Australia for developing technologies for the manufacture of biofuels and bioproducts

Organisation type

  • University Research Centre

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