Solid Waste Management Best Practices: Cost-effective options to sustainably manage solid waste in the Peace River Regional District

Concerns over climate change have led public and private institutions to change the way they conduct business. Initiatives include ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and working toward a net zero carbon society. Recycling and composting programs have been around for decades, with the goal to reduce the amount of solid waste entering the landfills. The natural decomposition of food and green wastes in landfills results in the emission of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Plastics in the environment find their way into the food chain and even human tissues.

Mechanical dewatering and modeling of gasification processes to attain more green fuels from wood waste materials

Bridges Environmental Solutions Inc. and Deadwood Innovation Inc. have developed a novel and low-cost process for dewatering wood and waste wood materials and extracting a lignin-based solution useful in subsequent wood reforming and laminating processes, which we have helped develop. They use this lignin product to both chemically modify cellulose structures and permanently reform wood for improved mechanical properties.

Searching for Mushroom Extracts and Fractions with Potential Antidepressant Activity

Mental illnesses, particularly depression, are one of the leading causes of global disease burden. In addition to reducing the quality of life of patients and their relatives, they costs billions of dollars annually to the Canadian economy. Unfortunately, current antidepressant drugs are barely satisfactory and have numerous side-effects. The goal of this project is to discover potential new extracts, fraction or compound(s) with potential antidepressant activity from wild mushrooms native to British Columbia.

Tree restoration on marginal land: Impacts of historical land use, climate change, and bioamendments on carbon sequestration potential

Carbon is a component of CO2, an important greenhouse gas (GHG) responsible for climate change. Forests store more carbon than is found in the atmosphere, with most of this stored in the soil. This ability to store carbon has led to many tree-planting projects across Canada including a large-scale tree restoration program led by Reckitt Benckiser Canada. But there are important knowledge gaps before forest soils can be counted towards emission targets. Critically, past land-use (e.g., agricultural) can influence a forest’s ability to store carbon.

Bird and small mammal species composition between hardwood retention forest treatment sites in mixed stands.

Birds and small mammals are essential members in maintaining a healthy ecosystem and rely on complex habitat structure, such as a diverse mixture of trees, understory growth, or open patches. I will be identifying bird and small mammal composition in relation to forest stand complexity across various forest harvesting treatments, such as clear-cut and new partial-cut methods (partial retention/shelterwood) and compare these to mature forest (control) patches.

Broad-scaled Avian Biodiversity Assessment with Passive Acoustic Monitoring and Artificial Intelligence

Many bird species are highly vocal, and this provides opportunities to monitor avian biodiversity by acoustic surveys. In recent decades, the use of Autonomous Recording Units (ARUs) has gained popularity as a mechanism to census birds through passive acoustic monitoring. Further, automatic algorithms for identifying bird species by their vocalizations have been developed to improve the efficiency and accuracy in analyzing acoustic data. In this project, I will explore the potential applications and limitations of passive acoustic monitoring in avian research.

Bringing dinosaurs into the 2020s: considering current visitation and future virtual tourism possibilities for the Tumbler Ridge Museum and Geopark (BC)

1) Carry out research on existing and potential visitation to Tumbler Ridge with respect to current offerings and to potential Virtual Tourism Experience (VTE)s. Zhang and Meletis will work to conduct a visitor survey-based project during the summer of 2022. They will generate new demographic profiles and qualitative and quantitative data on tourist motivations, experiences, and preferences. Zhang is an international master’s student with experience in online tourism offerings and business models.

Development of a pilot-scale system to demonstrate the feasibility of hydrogen production using a combined water electrolysis and wastewater treatment modular plant

This project aims to demonstrate the feasibility of a novel system for an efficient and environmentally friendly wastewater treatment plant to produce clean water and hydrogen production as a clean fuel. Hydrogen, as an important energy carrier, is a part of Canada’s energy transition towards net-zero emission and an important asset in Canada’s fight against climate change.

Engineered clay as a novel phosphorus (P) sorbent

Fort Nelson & its surrounding area have been devastated economically by recent changes to their Gas Industry leaving more than 1000 well sites abandoned and not restored. Currently, the area is looking to explore other natural resources in an attempt to save their livelihoods. A previous MITACs partnership with Mindbody Networks Inc. (2018-2020) revealed several clay deposits distributed throughout the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality (NRRM), are very efficient adsorbents for potential environmental application, which are believed to hold answers to the economic future of the region.

Development of novel adsorbent from foam glass for nutrient recovery from industrial and municipal wastewater effluents: steps towards commercialization.

Future scarcity of phosphorus supply, increasing cost and issues of eutrophication are potential drivers promoting nutrient recovery from wastewaters. The proposed project aims to develop cheap and environmentally friendly technology for the recovery of phosphorus and nitrogen from municipal, agricultural, dairy, food processing, petrochemicals, and biomass processing industries wastewaters. Successful completion of the project will benefit the partner organization by helping them solve the technical challenges associated with their patent-pending adsorbent.