Microalgae are an untapped source of bioproducts for biofuels and for nutritional, aquaculture, medical and environmental applications.

The challenge

Developing new bioproducts

A female in a white lab coat moves small flasks from a trolley to a shelf. The flasks containing liquid microalgae cultures in colours ranging from pale yellow to dark green.

Post Doc Lisa Albinsson in one of the controlled environment culture rooms.

Australia's microalgae are an untapped, renewable resource. Thanks to their enormous biodiversity across thousands of different species, microalgae produce many bioactive compounds with potential use for medical, human health, aquafeed and energy purposes.

The challenges are to:

  • explore and develop Australia’s microalgae to identify potential bioproducts
  • cultivate useful microalgae to produce a range of bioproducts in a sustainable and profitable way.

Of tens of thousands of different species globally, only a handful have been grown commercially. Australia offers natural advantages for algal cultivation, including extensive areas of non-arable land, unrestricted seawater or saline water and plenty of sunshine and warm weather.

Our response

Exploring Australia's microalgae

Our research has shown that Australian microalgae have unique chemical, molecular and physiological characteristics with potential for biofuels, unusual lipids, and pigments, all of which are highly sought after microalgal products.

We’re using this knowledge to develop particular strains held in our collection, creating a range of new bioproducts.

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