Mackay biorefinery pilot plant ready for take-off

Mercurius Australia has finalised commissioning and is about to commence operations at its pilot plant at QUT’s Biocommodities Facility in Mackay that will use Mercurius’s patented REACH technology to produce valuable renewable chemicals, diesel and jet fuel from sugarcane waste.

Project leader Dr Darryn Rackemann, from QUT’s Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy and an Advance Queensland Research Fellow, welcomed the progress on the project.

“This is transformative technology and to be part of the pilot process is fantastic,” Dr Rackemann said.

“QUT will be looking into the commercial opportunities from the REACH technology which could lead to producing renewable fuels and chemicals in Queensland creating new jobs and opportunities for regional communities.”

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Mackay, which is in the heart of sugarcane country, was the perfect place for this trial to take place.

“I first met with Mercurius on a trade mission to the United States in 2017,” the Premier said.

“They were attracted to Queensland because of my government’s commitment to developing a biofuels industry here.

“This project signals the start of a new industry for the region which means local jobs and further strengthens Mackay’s credentials as a leading biorefinery location.

“The plant at the QUT’s Biocommodities Facility in Mackay will be fully operational over a three-month period.

“My government has helped get this project off the ground, providing support through the Jobs and Regional Growth fund.”

This article was initially published on Queensland University of Technology’s website on 13 October 2021. It has been republished here courtesy of QUT Media. View the original article

Lead image: Dr Darryn Rackemann, CAB Senior Research Fellow at QUT, holding sugarcane bagasse and the biofuel end-product. Credit: Queensland University of Technology (QUT)