Community Energy Profiles and the CASES Toolkit

The Community Energy Profiles and the CASES Toolkit project is part of a larger partnership involving 15 communities and 16+ private and public sector partner organizations in 4 countries. Co-led by Drs. Greg Poelzer and Bram Noble, the project includes 7 interns with interest in the areas of energy policy, impact assessment, economics, energy systems modeling, social innovation, and capacity building with Indigenous communities, industries, and governments. The benefits of the internships to our Canadian partner organizations are multiple and extend beyond the internships.

Canadian Zeolites for Integrated Desalination, Nutrient Recovery and Bioremediation

Natural Canadian zeolite is an attractive mineral for the restoration of lands disturbed by the extraction of natural resources such as metals, oil and gas. Dr. Wonjae Chang’s Environmental Engineering Lab developed a dualmineral prototype, using Canadian zeolites, for the desalination of potash brine-impacted water. Dr. Chang also demonstrated the significant accumulation of residual potassium in the mineral adsorbents following multiple desalination cycles for potash brine-impacted water. In collaboration with ZMM® Canada Minerals Crop.

Oilseed with Depleted Glycosides

Flax seed is of interest as a health food product with high omega-3 fatty acid, protein and fiber content. The seeds naturally contain compound that are anti-nutritive and have a bitter flavor. We have developed a process to safely and cheaply remove these compounds from whole flax seed. We intend to investigate the nutritive qualities, flavor, and shelf life of this flax seed and to scale up the process for commercial use. We will develop recipes for the seed and process co-products.

Concrete Masonry Unit Geometry for Improved Structural Efficiency, Sustainability, and Constructability

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario reports that the masonry rate group cost per insurance claim is 2.44 times that if all other construction class rate groups. Manual lifting of concrete masonry units is required for masonry construction, and the pay masons receive is often commensurate with the number of units laid per day. Researchers have shown that, when lifting concrete masonry units, lower back compression forces in masons exceed the specific safe action limit despite the fact that the manual lifting load cutoff is not exceeded.

Improving Craft Brewing through Optimization of Yeast Function

Beer has been brewed since the dawn of civilization and is composed of only 4 simple ingredients: hops, water, toasted barley (called malt) and yeast. Yeast are the factories that convert chemicals in the starting materials to ethanol and flavors. Not all yeast are the same; over the millennia selection of specific yeast strains for specific brewing purposes has force the yeast to ‘evolve’ changing their genetic composition. For example, yeast used to make ales have a different genetic composition to those used to make lagers.

Pilot Plant for Lithium Extraction from Saskatchewan Brine Deposits

With the growth in demand for electric vehicles and mobile devices powered by rechargeable lithium batteries, demand for lithium is expected to increase by over 200% in the next decade. Current lithium production comes primarily from Australia, South America and China. There are significant lithium reserves in the same Saskatchewan aquifers currently being exploited for their concomitant oil reserves.

Upgrading Locally Available Sanitizer Ingredients for Health Services in Canada

In response to COVID-19 in Canada, demand for sanitizer products has increased dramatically. Health Canada has relaxed guidelines for sanitizers meant for consumers and maintained the regulation for medical grade ethanol in healthcare settings. In response to the increased demand and relaxed guidelines, organizations in the ethanol supply chain have been producing sanitizer products. The supply chains for sanitizer ingredients has been thoroughly disrupted. There is a need for medical-grade ethanol, and the reduction of impurities in consumer sanitizers will also benefit the public.

Solid Fermentation of Barley

Canada is the fourth largest barley producer and the second largest malt exporter in the world, representing billions of dollars in domestic and international sales. Typically, barley is utilized as animal fodder, as a nutritional supplement for healthy foods and is also used in the production of alcoholic beverages and distilled spirits. The ethanol produced for alcoholic beverages can also be utilized in the production of petroleum products. Interestingly, ethanol production often results in significant amounts of thin stillage by-product.

Surveillance of potential wildlife and domestic animal reservoirs for SARS-CoV-2

Canada’s northern communities are particularly vulnerable to infectious disease because of social determinants of health plus their widespread harvesting of wildlife. The current COVID-19 pandemic is of particular concern to northern peoples and governments since their food security and livelihood needs are often directly dependent on the human-animal interface, at which COVID-19 can transmit in both directions.

Development of simulation-based training modules for the SGI graduated licencing program

Proper education and training are necessary to ensure young drivers have the appropriate knowledge and skills to drive safely. The current Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) graduated licensing program has education components and some in-car practice sessions, however, data shows that many young drivers are still involved in accidents due to a lack of experience driving in difficult or challenging situations.