Centre for Solar Biotechnology Facility

The advanced pilot-scale test facility, located at Pinjarra Hills, Brisbane, develops high-efficiency microalgae systems and processes for the production of high value products as well as bulk commodities.

These include foods, renewable fuels, advanced bioproducts and bioremediation.

Further capabilities within the facility include the following:

Strain purification

Advanced microalgae purification strategies that have undergone extensive development and testing and can be configured to the recovery of species from a wide range of water sources. Strain purification is now available as a service.


Advanced microalgae cryopreservation techniques have been developed and tested. Strain cryo-preservation is available as a service.

Nutrient optimisation

Advanced high throughput nutrient optimisation screening that identifies the best nutrient blends based on the analysis of over 200 different combinations has been developed and tested and is now available as a service. 

Light optimisation

Light capture is the first stage of all biofuel and bio-products production. The optimisation of light delivery and light capture are therefore essential to the development of high-efficiency processes. Screens can now be provided to assist with the optimisation of light capture and can be tailored to specific needs. Our engineering partners can assist with engineering aspects of bioreactor design.

Metabolomics and metabolic engineering

For efficient product production it is important to channel the captured solar energy into downstream products such as oils, carbohydrates, proteins or specific High Value Products. Our team has substantial skills and facilities for the analysis of metabolites and targeted metabolic engineering.

High-value product development and screening

We encourage external groups to use our equipment. We offer training and induction. We also have highly trained staff that can perform the imaging for you.

Extensive facilities are available for the screening and purification of high value products.

Photobioreactor and raceway system design

Our team has extensive experience in photobioreactor design and process engineering.

Technoeconomic analysis

Our team has extensive experience in economic modelling of microalgae production. Economic modelling can be provided as a service.


This facility provides a research hub to facilitate collaborative and contract research projects based on photo-bioreactors and raceway systems. Services can be provided in systems design and testing.

This pilot-scale test facility is currently being upgraded to include additional capabilities, such as:

  • improved containment and safety
  • enhanced systems
  • extensive equipment upgrades
  • new sterilisation facilities
  • PC2 laboratories.

For further information please contact Dr Evan Stephens e.stephens@imb.uq.edu.au