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Tony Vancov

Research interests

  • 2nd Generation Biofuels
  • Integrated Biorefineries
  • N-fixing Rhizobia inoculant strains
  • Applied Environmental Microbiology


Dr Tony Vancov is a Senior Research Scientist and an Adjunct Associate Professor at UNSW and SCU. Tony manages the Biofuel and Environmental Microbiology (BEM) group, a team of researchers at NSW DPI Wollongbar, focused on evaluating and optimising bioprocessing strategies for the conversion of lignocellulosic feedstocks to bioethanol, bioenergy and value-added products. A key strength of NSW DPI’s biofuels team rests with its expertise in analytical chemistry, lignocellulosic pretreatment and enzymatic saccharification and bioprocessing (fermentation). The team’s knowledge basis and skill set have been successfully used to leverage funding for several national and international collaborations in the field of integrated biorefining projects. Tony’s other research interests relate to applied environmental microbiology. The group is equipped with and/or able to access tools for conducting organism-based, community, and process-level studies. Specifically, they employ molecular biology, biochemical, and ecological approaches to address questions regarding soil microbial community diversity and functionality, cycling of nutrients in managed and natural ecosystems, xenobiotic degradation and bioremediation and rhizosymbiome-plant interactions.

*NSW Department of Primary Industries was formed on July 1, 2004 through an amalgamation of NSW Agriculture, NSW Fisheries, State Forests of NSW and the NSW Department of Mineral Resources.


  • B.Sc. (1st Hons) – University of NSW 1988
  • PhD Biotechnology – University of NSW 1993

Current projects

  • A Profitable Future for Australian Agriculture: Biorefineries for Higher-Value Animal Feeds, Chemicals and Fuels  (Rural R&D for Profit).
  • High Value Bio-extractives and Bioethanol from Cotton Gin Trash (CRDC).
  • Integrated technologies for economically sustainable biobased energy (Grand Challenge Australia-India Strategic Research Fund -AISRF).
  • Risk and impact assessment of herbicide use in the grains industry (GRDC).
  • AIRG: National independent quality assurance and germplasm maintenance for Rhizobium inoculants (GRDC).

Recent publications

Refereed journals

McIntosh S, Palmer J, Zhang ZY, Doherty WOS, Yazdani SS, Sukumaran RK, Vancov T. (2017). Simultaneous Saccharification and Fermentation of Pretreated Eucalyptus grandis Under High Solids Loading. Industrial Biotechnology 13(3): 131-140.

Egbuta MA, McIntosh S, Waters DLE, Vancov T, and Liu L. (2017) Biological Importance of Cotton By-Products Relative to Chemical Constituents of the Cotton Plant. Molecules 22(1):93.

Zhang ZY, Vancov T, McIntosh S, Basu B, Lali A, Qian GR et al., (2016). Assessing dilute acid pretreatment of different lignocellulosic biomasses for enhanced sugar production. Cellulose 23:3771-3783.

Rose MT, Cavagnaro TR, Scanlan CA, Rose TJ, Vancov T, Kimber S et al., (2016). Impact of Herbicides on Soil Biology and Function. Advances in Agronomy 136:133-220.

Rijal D, Vancov T, McIntosh S, Ashwath N, and Stanley GA. (2016). Process options for conversion of Agave tequilana leaves into bioethanol. Industrial Crops and Products 84:263-2726.

McIntosh S, Zhang Z, Palmer J, Wong H-H, Doherty WOS, and Vancov T. (2016) .Pilot-scale cellulosic ethanol production using eucalyptus biomass pre-treated by dilute acid and steam explosion. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining 10:346-358.

Vancov, T., Schneider, R.C.S., Palmer, J., McIntosh, S., and Stuetz,R. (2015). “Potential use of feedlot cattle manure for bioethanol production.” Bioresource Technology, 183: 120-128.

Anstoetz M, Rose TJ, Clark MW, Yee LH, Raymond CA, and Vancov T. (2015). Novel Applications for Oxalate-Phosphate-Amine Metal-Organic-Frameworks (OPA-MOFs): Can an Iron-Based OPA-MOF Be Used as Slow-Release Fertilizer? PLoS ONE 10 (12):e0144169.

Fields of research

  • 100301 Biocatalysis and Enzyme Technology
  • 100302 Bioprocessing, Bioproduction and Bioproducts
  • 100303 Fermentation
  • 100305 Industrial Microbiology (incl. Biofeedstocks)
  • 060503 Microbial Genetics
  • 060504 Microbial Ecology

Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC)

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Biofuels & BioEnergy
  • Integrated Biorefining
  • Pretreatment & enzymology
  • Fermentation
  • Applied Environmental Microbiology
  • Microbial Genetics

Contact details

Dr Tony Vancov
Senior Research Scientist
Location: Wollongbar Primary Industries Institute
Email: tony.vancov@dpi.nsw.gov.au
ORCID ID: org/0000-0001-5227-7405.
Researcher ID: A-6408-2010