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Environmental Protection & Preservation

New Technology Helps Reduce Environmental Impacts of Biowaste

Funding from the Queensland Government will help commercialise solid waste management research into a new specialised treatment plant leading to major environmental benefits for the State.

Speaking at the Queensland BIO Business Reception in Boston, Queensland Premier Peter Beattie today announced a $619,000 Smart State Innovation Projects Funds grant to the University of Queensland.

When all other partner funding is included, the total project involves an overall investment of $1.8 million.

"The University of Queensland is undertaking fundamental research into managing biosolid waste and improving waste technology," Mr Beattie said.

"The funding will be used for the development of a new treatment plant in Queensland to service the meat processing industry and small-scale sewage treatment plants for regional towns with fewer than 100,000 people.

"Larger facilities already have suitable advanced waste processing technology, but smaller scale treatment plants and food suppliers are lacking the same level of technology. This project will help address that issue."

Mr Beattie said the University of Queensland's research and technology would generate a number of benefits for Queensland.

"Queenslanders currently produce about 2,000 tonnes of wet organic solids per day, costing $40 million a year to process, with substantial environmental costs including greenhouse gas emissions," Mr Beattie said.

"This project has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 140 tonnes a day which is the equivalent to removing 35,000 cars from the road.

"The cost of Queensland's biosolids could also be reduced from $120 million a year to $40 million a year, and the new treatment plant would yield renewable electricity and organic fertiliser.

"It is envisaged that the electricity produced from one of these plants would be sufficient to support 578 households."

The Innovation Projects Fund is part of the Queensland Government's $200 million Smart State Innovation Funding Program, which aims to build world-class research facilities, attract top-quality scientists to Queensland and stimulate cutting-edge research projects.

The Queensland BIO Business Reception showcases Smart State strengths in biotechnology and life sciences to about 200 representatives from the United States and international biotechnology, business and investment community.

"The Queensland Government has invested more than $3 billion in innovation, science and research since 1998. I think this demonstrates our deep and ongoing commitment to maintaining Queensland's reputation as the Smart State," Mr Beattie said.

Mr Beattie and Minister for State Development John Mickel are leading a Queensland biotechnology delegation to BIO 2007, the world's largest biotechnology conference and exhibition.

BIO 2007 runs from 6-9 May and attracts about 20,000 international delegates and the Queensland Government is continuing its significant investment in Queensland branding and positioning to facilitate leads, networking, new business and research collaboration opportunities.

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