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Syngenta and Australian Research Partners to Tackle Sugarcane Bagasse Ethanol

Syngenta; the Queensland University of Technology (QUT); its technology transfer and commercialization company qutbluebox; and the Australian agbiotech company Farmacule BioIndustries are starting a research partnership that is focused on the development of the cost-effective conversion of sugarcane bagasse to cellulosic ethanol, including the delivery of plant-expressed enzymes.

A new Syngenta Centre for Sugarcane Biofuel Development will be established at QUT’s campus in Brisbane, Australia.

Under the collaboration agreement Syngenta will have exclusive global marketing rights for the products, excluding for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific islands, where rights are held by the other project partners. Syngenta can also use the developed technologies in other crops. The Syngenta Centre for Sugarcane Biofuel Development will commence operations immediately.

The Queensland Government supports this partnership and will invest a total of AUD 5.1 million (approx. US$4.6 million) for the establishment of the new Syngenta center and for the development of a related biocommodities pilot plant. Other financial details have not been disclosed.

Farmacule BioIndustries is developing molecular farming technology to cost effectively mass produce high-value proteins, biofuels and bioplastics in plants for various industrial, therapeutic and diagnostic applications. All three partners are based in Brisbane.



This is the way forward. If we can crack lignocellulosic biomass, we have enough fuel to go beyond peak oil. A hectare of sugarcane would yield 12,000 liters of ethanol. The sustainable potential is gigantic.

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