The University of Queensland has several research programs
around gas fermentation from solid waste, waste water and
industrial waste streams. LanzaTech and Calysta are exploring
the potential of establishing production in Queensland and are
collaborating with researchers at The University of Queensland
on developing better gas fermenting strains.
Queensland is renowned for its coal and mineral resources. In
addition to these natural resources, significant investment in
research and development has generated a skilled industry of
professionals, making Australia, and particularly Queensland,
a world leader in mining resources, knowledge and related
industrial biotechnology processes. The Queensland industry
has “a worldwide reputation for providing solutions to the global
mining industry using technologies such as robotics, satellite
imaging, and 3D visualisation”.
“Biotechnology has many potential applications in the mining
industry including metal leaching, metal recovery, impurity
removal and product upgrading, treatment of acid rock drainage
and other uses for environmental control”.
A successful and expanding area of industrial biotechnology
is biomining. Biomining utilises microbes to extract valuable
minerals and metals from low-grade ores. The bacteria used
are naturally present at the mining site and therefore pose no
biological threat to the environment. Using bacteria to extract
the metal can increase productivity by 20 to 30 per cent and
reduces waste of otherwise discarded low-grade materials.
The application of biomining aims to increase productivity
while reducing the industry's environmental footprint by using
biological agents rather than harsh chemicals. The University of
Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute is one organisation
committed to addressing the issue of sustainable development
of the mining industry across a range of areas including “mining,
mineral processing, water, communities, risk and environment”.
Section 3: Life Sciences Queensland Ltd Sub Sectors
Life Sciences Queensland Limited – www.lsq.com.au