Australian Research Council Linkage funding for AIBN tops $1 million

10 Jul 2014

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) research in areas stretching from sustainable aviation fuel production and new effective vaccines to safe drinking water worldwide has received Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage funding.

AIBN researchers are leading projects which attracted three ARC Linkage grants totalling more than $1 million.

Professor Lars Nielsen and Dr Esteban Marcellin will lead a research collaboration aiming to create a long-term sustainable future for Australia using $600,000 in funding to reduce carbon dioxide emissions while creating valuable products.

The researchers will build on a process developed by LanzaTech, a collaborator, and aim to advance a waste gas fermentation process. The project has direct relevance to SkyNRG and the new Brisbane Bioport on their path to deliver sustainable fuel to Brisbane airport.

Professor Michael Yu and Dr Liang Zhou will use $255,000 in funding to develop a new generation of adsorbents with controlled nanostructure and morphology for arsenic removal. 

Arsenic contamination in groundwater and drinking water affects over 100 million people worldwide and causes severe health problems. The project aims to bring economic and social benefits to Australian industry and improve the quality of life for people all over the world.

Professor Anton Middelberg and Dr Chunxia Zhao will work with collaborator, Vaxine Pty Ltd, on a $300,000 project to develop more effective and protective vaccines for animals and humans. 

The researchers will develop a technology to make nanoparticle-based adjuvants with controlled properties, an agent used to enhance the efficacy of vaccines. The technology will help the researchers understand the relationship between the particle properties and vaccine efficacy, to ultimately facilitate the development of more successful vaccines.

AIBN’s Affiliate Group Leader Professor Peter Halley was also successful in receiving an ARC grant totalling $343,000 submitted through The University of Queensland’s School of Chemical Engineering.
Dr Bronwyn Laycock in Professor Halley’s research group and Dr Steven Pratt (Chemical Engineering) led the project that pioneers the development of high performance wood plastic composites from polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) generated from pulp and paper waste.

The project aims to lead new products and more diverse markets for the Australian forestry industry and maximise Australia’s competitive advantage in biomass-based produce development.