Carbon Fiber (CF) is one of the world’s most versatile material ever developed. CF has high stiffness and tensile strength, is stronger than steel, lighter than aluminum and it can be molded into any shape. This allows it to be used in aerospace, airplane and automotive manufacturing. This MITACS grant will support the development of new Processes and Technologies needed to recycle CF, its co-mingled materials and other components from hard to process waste streams, with the goal of reducing environmental impact and resource requirements.
One of the major challenges today is reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) into the atmosphere and the increasing demand in the hydrogen energy sector. Currently, Steam Methane Reforming (SMR) is the industry standard in producing H2. Unfortunately, the H2 produced here is classified as “grey hydrogen” as the reaction between methane and water also produces carbon dioxide (CO2). Methane pyrolysis (MP) offers an alternative approach to H2 production as it decomposes methane molecules into H2 and solid carbon only, making the process significantly cleaner than SMR.
The proposed project is a collaboration between InnuScience and researchers in the Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Department at Western University. InnuScience uses biotechnology to replace harmful chemicals, eliminate waste, and deliver sustainable cleaning solutions for the cleaning industry. This research collaboration will experimentally optimize the production of biosurfactants by microorganisms via fermentation pathways, focusing on cleaning applications. These molecules are naturally occurring and consist of a polar group and a non-polar tail, hence acting as biosurfactants.
Two pharmaceutical products for the treatment of neurological diseases developed by Neuractas Therapeutics require fine tuning to enhance their solubility, bioavailability and stability towards relative humidity. Extensive experimental research will be carried out to improve the polymorphic distribution of the products by high through-put crystallization to improve the solubility of one of the products.
Mine tailings pose significant environmental risks due to their poor mechanical and chemical stability. This project aims to implement a novel nature-based procedure to improve stability of mine tailings using indigenous microorganisms with biocementation properties. Microorganisms capable of surviving in the tailings environment will be discovered that precipitate calcium carbonate. These organisms will be used to create a matrix that binds sand and clay particles together to form a barrier to water infiltration and to prevent wind erosion.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) for essential workers in flammable environment requires two essential traits: fire resistance (FR) and fitting comfort. The fitting comfort is especially an issue for women firefighters, whose protective clothing are not appropriately catered. Elastic fibers in sportswear, such as Lycra, offer superb fitting and comfort, but their FR version is commercially unavailable. The project proposes to apply a FR surface coating on commercially available elastic fibers by depositing a composite layer that thickens explosively upon contacting flame.
Blood tests are highly sought after to enable earlier cancer detection. We previously developed a blood test for breast cancer that is in prospective clinical study in Alberta, Manchester (UK), Oklahoma (USA) and South Korea. The proposed project will investigate some clinical samples collected through this work to support the primarily focus of identifying biomarkers for a new cancer, multiple myeloma (MM). MM has a need for new monitoring approaches as it accounts for 10% of hematologic malignancies and is hard to cure, with a low five-year survival rate.
In the first phase of this project, we will explore and optimize the application of commercially available hollow particles to increase the sound absorption properties of polyisobutylene-based corrosion protective coatings manufactured by Canusa-CPS. In the second phase, we will use a blending strategy in which we mix a base polymer of the coating with a partially miscible polymer with significantly different damping properties such as polyisoprene to enhance the sound absorption properties of the coating.
The proposed project seeks to improve the processing of Canadian oilsands bitumen using two key technical advancements associated with the upgrading of bitumen to fuels. Firstly, we will seek to reduce the consumption of costly hydrogen by using light-ends as a source of hydrogen and secondly we will improve the catalysts used to control the chemical reactions and thereby enhance liquid product yields.