The Australian Government is investing $3.9 million in the establishment of a research centre to transform biosolids into a valuable resource.

Based at RMIT University, the Australian Research Council (ARC) Training Centre for the Transformation of Australia’s Biosolids Resource will be led by professor Andrew Ball. The centre will bring together expertise from 20 national and international partners from Australia, the UK and US including universities, water management authorities and industry.

Biosolids are a by-product of the wastewater treatment process that can be used as fertiliser, in land rehabilitation or as a construction material. However, around 30 percent of the by-product still goes to landfill in Australia.

Distinguished Professor Andrew Ball says the centre would transform the way biosolids are managed in Australia and pave the way for improved and more environmentally sustainable practices across the globe.

“In Australia, 1.5 million tonnes of wet material are produced every year. This is a valuable resource that can contribute to a more successful circular economy,” he says.

“Our research projects will investigate how we can best manage this valuable resource across the entire process, from treating biosolid waste, transportation, legislation and improved use as a resource that will benefit our agricultural and land management industries.

“The training centre will also ensure we are equipped and ready to go with a skilled workforce ready to use the new technologies as they are developed.”