Solar Conversion of Biomass-Derived Chemicals

Solar Conversion of Biomass-Derived Chemicals

Solar Conversion of Biomass-Derived Chemicals

A/Prof Michael Oelgemöller, Dr Mark Robertson

This research area builds on both of tropical North Queensland’s abundant natural resources, renewable biomass and sunlight, and utilizes these for the production of commercially relevant chemicals. The research allows for product diversification and value addition of existing agricultural or essential oil productions.Solar photochemistry is used for the large-scale synthesis of fragrances, herbicides, pharmaceutical building blocks and antimalarial compounds. Likewise, solar thermal chemistry produces potential pharmaceutically active compounds or insect repellents from local agricultural waste or essential oils. The solar chemistry group operates several trough, dish and flatbed reactors for experiments on laboratory to demonstration scales.