Production Data Analysis From Mechanised Forest Operations

The aim of the study is to look at the available research on forest machinery production data and collect further data on forest machinery working in conditions that have not been studied before. In so doing we hope to determine what value the production data collected in British Columbia provides as a management tool when it is used in the conventional way and compare that to systems around the world that have access to the same or more advanced production data.

Improving hygrothermal modeling as design tools using field measurements to achieve durable and energy efficient wood structures

Computer-based simulation software, called hygrothermal modeling has become increasingly popular and useful to predict and evaluate heat, air, vapour, and water-related performance of buildings. This research project aims to improve such modelling for wood construction through validation using specifically measured property data and field/lab performance data. The goal is to make modelling a more reliable design tool and to subsequently improve the design and construction of both mass timber construction and light wood-frame construction.

Paper-Based Weather Resistant Membrane for Building Applications

Currently, petroleum-based water resistance membranes are used in the construction industry in order to create a barrier against water. These make recycling a challenge during building demolition, as well as create a significant carbon footprint of their own. The purpose of this project is to develop a paper-based water barrier to replace the petroleum-based alternatives. In partnership with FPInnovations, two postdoctoral scholars will develop and benchmark the technology, working both at UBC and FPInnovations in Vancouver and Pointe-Claire.

Technology transfer of bioenergy systems for remote communities

The goal of this research is to use the developed information around the technical, economical and social political challenges for the implementation of small-scale bioenergy systems in remote indigenous communities in Canada. The targeted outcome creates a multi faceted model to evaluate the success and impact of future installation with less input factors to simplify the technology transfer and lower the overall investment requirements for communities or stakeholders.

Developing solutions for safer harvesting techniques on steep terrain

The forest industry in British Columbia (BC) is facing increasingly difficult challenges regarding fibre supply. New winch-assist technology that enables fully mechanized ground-based forest harvesting on steep terrain has been increasingly used in BC since 2016. The new systems have improved safety and provide access to fibre that was previously uneconomic. New low-consumption small-size cable yarders have also received increasing interest in non-trafficable terrain.

Use of pulp mill residues as construction and geotechnical materials

Heat and electricity generation from biomass combustion in power boilers and co-generation plants produces large quantities of ash residues in British Columbia (BC) each year. In 2013, approximately two thirds of the produced ash were landfilled in Canada and only the remaining one third beneficially utilized. On the other hand, high-quality construction materials are rare in many parts of the world, and most often engineers are forced to seek alternatives to reach the stipulated requirements.

Recycling of Urea-Formaldehyde Resin-Bonded Particleboard and MDF

The large global production quantity of particleboard and medium density fiberboard (MDF) creates equal quantity of particleboard and MDF waste after completing their service life. Given increasing demand for green products and the new government’s environmental policies, it is urgent to develop technologies to recycle these used composite panels into valuable raw materials for manufacturing composites again.
This research will focus on the development of recycling solutions for waste Urea-formaldehyde (UF) resin-bonded particleboard and MDF.

BC Pulp and Paper Bioproducts Alliance: Development and demonstration of forest residues to renewable natural gas technologies

This proposed project will support our ongoing efforts in scanning and screening existing technologies and de-bottlenecking key technology barriers in converting low-cost biomass residues to renewable natural gas in British Columbia pulp, paper and lumber mills. Specifically, we will focus on developing a bauxite residue (f.k.a., red mud) based catalyst for the removal of tar from gasification syngas to yield clean syngas for methanation to biomethane, and evaluating and improving the commercial methanation catalyst.

Achieving aspirations of Canadian aboriginal communities through participatory cultural mapping and dynamic decision modelling - Year two

The Aboriginal housing situation in Canada is in crisis with a lack of culturally and environmentally appropriate housing. To address this need, this Mitacs Elevate project involves a collaboration between the Heiltsuk Nation (in Bella Bella, BC), the University of British Columbia, and FPInnovations. Through this project, a Participatory Approach towards Holistic Solutions (PATHS) framework was created and applied to help assess pathways with which the Heiltsuk Nation may effectively develop and implement community-led housing solutions.

Evaluation of Phytosanitary Measure Efficacy Using Genomics

In recent years, globalization and increasing international traffic have allowed tree infecting micro-organisms and pests to colonize new forests and plantations. These invasions are a threat to global trade and the delicate ecological balance of our forests. Good examples are the Sudden Oak Death (SOD) outbreak caused by Phytophthora ramorum in California and the emerald ash borer in eastern Canada. Such epidemics can wreak havoc and halt international trade resulting in loss of millions of dollars.