Fast Catalytic Pyrolysis of Sewage Sludge for Producing High-Grade Bio-Oil and Effective Sorbent for Capturing Emerging Contaminants

Large amounts of sewage sludge (SS) have been generated yearly by municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWPs), which entail huge operational expenses and advanced treatments, and the final disposal of biosolids in agricultural applications is reduced because of the potential environmental risks (e.g., heavy metals and emerging contaminants) associated with biosolids applications.

Evaluation of the effects of pipe-soil interaction on the stress based design of buried pipelines using advanced numerical modeling

Thermal stress analysis of the buried pipeline is an integral part of pipeline design and integrity analysis. Pipeline design code (e.g. CSA Z662) provides guidance on the thermal stress analysis of restrained and unrestrained pipe sections. However, a buried pipeline bend is more likely to be partially restrained, as the pipe is free to expand longitudinally, but the expansion is restrained by the pipe-soil interaction. No clear guidance is provided in the design code for a partially restrained condition.

Thermal characteristics of viruses in humans, specifically COVID-19

The research project will focus on identifying thermal characteristics of COVID-19 in humans and applying the characteristics identified to detect COVID-19 in humans using non-invasive methodologies.

For this project, the thermal characteristics of viruses in humans, specifically COVID-19 will be studied.

Decision-making environment for optimal envelope retrofit of the office building

Energy-efficiency upgrades of existing buildings offer substantial energy and greenhouse gas emission reductions. Infrared thermography (IRT) of the building envelope is a non-destructive test that can be used to target retrofit actions and motivate energy efficiency improvements. Recent advances in IRT technology include using drones to collect thermal imaging data from the buildings efficiently, thoroughly, and without disturbing the occupants. The goal of this project is twofold.

IoT, AI and Analytics for Smart Urban Water Systems

The Advanced Data Analytics Platform for the Transformation (ADAPT) developed herein integrates quality assurance, quality control and Artificial Intelligence techniques to identify trends and relationships in water networks data. The importance of this information for fostering utility communications and business processes is demonstrated through a visualization dashboard built based on ADAPT.

Assessing COVID-19 Impacts on Urban Travel and Activity Patterns Employing Cellphone Travel Data

COVID-19 impacts on travel are unprecedented, affecting virus-spread, transportation services delivery, and how people will eventually safely participate in economic, educational and social activities. These impacts vary substantially across neighbourhoods, often worsening existing inequities in Canadian cities. This project will accelerate research for deriving insights about COVID-19 from TELUS network location data. Specifically, it will develop new methods to use cellphone traces to measure, model, and evaluate our response to COVID-19’s disruption of daily activity/travel participation.

Zero+ Fleet Energy Simulation Tool

In many cities, fleet operators are evaluating the potential environmental benefits of replacing gasoline-fuelled vehicles by alternative vehicles, particularly electric vehicles. In this process, reductions in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved. In this project, the company HDR proposes to partner with the Transportation and Air Quality (TRAQ) research group at the University of Toronto to develop the HDR Zero+ fleet energy simulation tool.

Instrumented based bridge evaluation

Bridges in North America are aging and need repair or replacement. Precise evaluation of load carrying capacity of bridges is a way to prevent economic and environmental impact due to replacement and repairs. Current method of evaluation requires the evaluator to make conservative assumptions on load and resistance of bridges. In recent years as technology develops, more precise data can be collected and be processed. Sensors can be mounted at carefully selected positions on bridges to provide sufficient data for more precise bridge evaluation.

Ultrasonic characterization of permafrost using an integrated machine learning poromechanical technique

Civil infrastructure (e.g. roads, embankments, pipelines and buried utilities) is severely impacted by frost action and permafrost conditions in cold regions. With earth’s temperature predicted to increase, the ground ice melts, and the induced soil shift and collapse jeopardize the integrity of infrastructure.

Enhanced rock formation characterization using Gas Expansion Induced Water Intrusion Porosimetry

A thorough investigation of the porous medium characteristics is essential in order to detect transport phenomena in porous media. Lab experiments such as Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry (MIP) and Gas Expansion (GE) on the core samples that are directly extracted from geologic formations are useful techniques to measure the porosity of the porous structure. However, the MIP test requires high cost and preparation time and the use of mercury causes the sample destruction.