By 2050 the human population is forecast to expand from 7.5 to 9.6 billion people. We will require 70% more food (United Nations), 50% more fuel (International Energy Agency), and 50% more water (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development). We also need to reduce CO2 emissions by over 80% (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). All of these will have to be achieved to ensure economic, social, political, climate, food, water and fuel security.

The Centre for Solar Biotechnology connects ~30 international research teams and its industry partners to accelerate the innovation and commercialisation of new solar powered technologies and industries, based on photosynthetic green algae. Our technologies tap into the huge energy resource of the sun and absorb CO2 to provide economic solar driven solutions that will help supply the world’s growing energy, food and water needs, and a path for CO2 utilisation. Our technologies also open up a suite of high value opportunities in the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical sectors.

Collectively our work actively supports the development of new job opportunities, sustainable regional development, export industries and a clean, green and renewable future.

Traineeships, honours and PhD projects include

Molecular and Cell Biology

  • Optimising light capture efficiency: transcript and protein analysis of the light harvesting complex proteins
  • Optimising protein expression for the production of peptide therapeutics
  • Solar driven H2 production from water

Structural Biology

  • High resolution single particle analysis: Membrane protein structure determination - purification and structural characterisation of the cyclic-electron flow – Photosystem I super complex using electron microscopy and high resolution single particle analysis

Chemical Engineering/Bioprocess

  • Optimising and testing of pilot scale microalgae systems       

Techno-Economics & Life Cycle Analysis

  • Microalgae process modelling: model-guided design of high-efficiency microalgae systems

Project members

Group Leader

Professor Ben Hankamer

Director, IMB Centre for Solar Biotechnology
Professorial Research Fellow
Institute for Molecular Bioscience