PROJECT Summaries

Biochemicals and Co-products

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Activity Title

Principal Investigator

Spinning Straw into Slippery Gold

David Stuart, University of Alberta

This activity aims to generate genetically modified microbial strains for biotransformation of cellulosic and hemi-cellulosic agricultural residues into high value oleochemicals.

Amar Mohanty & Manjusri Misra, University of Guelph

Improved Utilization of Downstream Products from Bioethanol Industry for New Industrial Applications

The activity aims to design, develop and commercialize a competitive range of green plastics and plasticizer additives products from the corn ethanol industry to respond to the urgent necessity of eco-friendly materials for processing food packaging industry. The corn oil, extracted during the biorefinery process of ethanol, will be used to develop a green polymer additive or new bioproducts, adding a higher value.

DMT Bioproducts

High Efficiency Biorefining Process Development

This activity focuses on the development of a high efficiency bio-refining processes that would enable commercially viable mass production of a number of Biochemicals and Co-products from miscanthus.

Origin Materials

Advancing 100% Bio-based Chemicals for Commercial Grade Polyethylenefuranoate (PEF) plastics

This activity will advance ground-breaking proprietary chemical technologies to convert bio-based feedstock into high-performing, cost-competitive, and sustainable plastics.

Gopal Subramaniam, AAFC

Microbial Bioproducts as Fungicide Adjuvants

David Overy, AAFC

Fungal plant pathogens cause substantial damage to agriculture crops with economic impact in the range of 10’s to 100’s of billions of dollars in Canada and around the world. Many of these pathogens also produce mycotoxins, which can render agricultural products undervalued and compounds financial losses.  The goal of the activity is to provide Canadian farmers with novel fungicide adjuvants to combat current and emerging diseases. Outcome of previous grants from the agricultural innovation project (AIP), partnered with the grain farmers of Ontario (GFO) led to a development of a platform to discover novel biopesticides and adjuvants to control Fusarium head blight (FHB). In this activity, the discovered adjuvants will be assessed and new compounds identified that can be used synergistically with existing fungicides, against a variety of crop pathogens and advancing candidate molecules towards a commercialization. The synergism will result in increased potency of existing fungicides and thus, prevent the emergence of resistance pathogenic strains.

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Activity Title

Principal Investigator



Next Generation Wood Adhesive Binders for Engineered Wood Products

This activity builds on EcoSynthetix’ significant wood adhesive product and process engineering expertise and will incorporate novel bio-based thermosetting chemistries that will provide wood panel converters with new options for cost-effective substitution of a minimum of 85+% displacement of traditional synthetic formaldehyde-based wood binders being used in today’s engineered wood panel boards. It will consider a range of alternative agriculture-based feedstock families, including high protein-containing starch flours (from corn, pea, lentil or other crops), vegetable oils (from canola, camelina or other crops) and combining these with efficient bio-based thermosetting systems to create new products.


EcoPoxy Biobased Resin Technology Development

The activity aims to develop biobased resins for applications; including fibre reinforced composite products that are derived from soybean crops.


These will be sequentially developed with the aim to increase the bio-based content of epoxy and polyester resins and have them supplant petroleum-based constituents for the composites industry.

David Levin, University of Manitoba & Trevor Charles, University of Waterloo

Tailoring Biopolymers for Food Packaging Applications

The activity will work develop new biomaterials engineered with unique physical, mechanical, and thermal properties for use in food packaging applications using combinations of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) and Poly-Lactic Acid (PLA) biopolymers, both 100% biodegradable polymers, with natural fibres such as flax and hemp.

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Activity Title

Principal Investigator

Biofuels & Bioenergy

Fueling Canada through Biorefining Conversion of Agricultural Waste

David Bressler, University of Alberta

This activity focuses on converting agricultural products and residues to transportation fuels and platform chemicals through an innovative lipid-to-hydrocarbon (LTH) process.  The LTH process can produce renewable diesel and gasoline equivalents, as well as natural gas and platform chemicals, from a variety of feedstocks.

Bolt on Butanol Process for Existing Biodiesel Plants

Lars Rehmann, Western University

This activity aims to develop a commercially viable addition to biodiesel and bioethanol plants to convert a process by-product with the potential addition of sugar beets into biobutanol with an advanced continuous fermentation process.

Improving Environmental Benefits of Agricultural Biogas Systems in Canada

Andrew VanderZaag, AAFC

Agriculture has the potential to be the largest source of biogas in Canada. However, presently the sources are typically small and distributed in rural areas.  Further implementation of biogas system faces unique challenges that need to be understood and addressed.


The objectives of this project are to increase the environmental benefits of agricultural biogas systems and develop a roadmap for agricultural biogas opportunities in Canada. This will be done by measuring the reduction of methane emissions from separated liquid effluent, and the improved ability to redistribute phosphorus to agricultural land where it is needed. Measurements will be combined with scenario analyses to evaluate the potential benefits in several agricultural regions based on available agri-biogas feedstocks, RNG infrastructure, and emerging policies.

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Activity Title

Principal Investigator

Supply of Biomass to the Sector

Breeding Genetically Improved and Endophyte Enhances Switchgrass and Big Bluestem for Improved Biomass Yield and Quality

Resource Efficient Agricultural Production (REAP) Canada

This activity will implement innovative and comprehensive breeding approaches to help achieve the goal of increasing biomass yield and quality of two emerging biomass crops: switchgrass and big bluestem.


The research intends to develop 6 new breeding selections of switchgrass and 2 of big bluestem with improved yield and biomass quality and release them to producers by 2023.