Hydrolytic de-polymerization of hydrolysis lignin using alkaline catalysts: effects of process parameters and optimization

Hydrolysis lignins (HL) are a byproduct from acid or enzymatic biomass pretreatment processes such as the ones employed in cellulosic sugar and/or ethanol plants. They are mainly composed of lignin , unreacted cellulose and mono and oligosaccharides.

Innovating towards the Circular Economy

The Canadian paint and coating industry had long established programs to collect residual paint from the household and recycle it into marketable products. By doing so, the industry protects the environment by recycling a significant amount of resources which used to end up in landfills as waste. However, such programs are currently costly for both the companies and consumers, due to extra costs of collecting and recycling.

Real-time multi-class object recognition for municipal waste collection

The use of garbage trucks with “robot arms” for municipal waste collection is becoming more and more common in Ontario and across North America. However, these “robots” have very little capability. In our collaboration with Waterloo Controls, we are working to automate the process of garbage collection. Rather than requiring the operator to acquire the truck, then steer the robot arm to pick up the bin, we are working to add automatic capability.

Group IT usage, diversity and innovation

This proposal is part of a larger research program that aims to study the relationships between IT usage for communication, diversity in social and technical knowledge, and innovation in groups. We have developed a research framework based on social network theories to suggest two different mechanisms for relating diversity and IT usage to novel idea generation and implementation. Our findings will help the partner organization to improve its capability to innovate by better forming and managing diversity within and across group in the context of innovations labs.

Process Development of Volatile Cobalt ALD Precursors

Cobalt thin-films have found widespread applications in microelectronics devices; such as liners in copper interconnects, wetting layers, and caps, in addition to applications for magnetic devices and CoSi2 contacts. CVD and ALD techniques are typically used to achieve cobalt films between 2-5 nm thick with excellent conformalities and negligible resistance increase. Leading precursors for cobalt thin-film deposition include cyclopentadienylcobalt dicarbonyl and dicobalt(hexacarbonyl)tert-butylacetylene.

Understanding the role of trees and topography in determining power outage frequency across London, ON

While trees are regularly maintained to prevent damage from branches to power lines, power outages caused by vegetation still occur, and these outages are more common in some areas of London than in others. This work will correlate tree species-specific growth rates, tree species distribution maps, and topographical maps with the frequency of vegetation-related power outages across London, ON to determine potential drivers of tree growth (such as species identity, tree size, and indices of water availability) that should be accounted for in future vegetation maintenance plans.

Design and Synthesis of Stimuli Responsive Viscosifying Agents for use in Fracturing Fluids

Fluids used in hydraulic fracturing are designed to open fractures and transport proppant along the fracture to ensure conservation of the fracture. Scientists in the industry use commercially available polymers that are produced at low-cost in high volumes for other industries (e.g. water treatment) without really understanding the reasons why these polymers have the desired performance for fracking. The fluids we are focused on developing are used to reduce the cost of pumping/fracking to make drilling operations economically viable.

Sustainability Employee Engagement Research Project

In the summer of 2017, GM of Canada will be launching several employee engagement campaigns pertaining to sustainability goals. This project will determine how the control of different variables could lead to more or less employee engagement. These variables include the communication medium, the reward mechanism, and the depth of technical detail. By better understanding of what communication practices lead to effective employee engagement, GM can better tailor future sustainability campaigns to bring about larger impact.

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Cardiac Arrhythmia Care Pathways Project

The interns will be engaged to to identify potential target patients and provide a cost-benefit analysis of various forms of CA care pathways, with a focus on identifying the strengths and weaknesses of implementing an e-health system compared to the current model of care.The target patient analysis will be conducted through the development and use of a mathematical model based on game theory.

Accelerate development of new technologies and applications for advanced water treatment

Global population growth, urbanization and changing climate patterns have increased the demand for potable water, wastewater reuse and value recovery from wastewater, and treatment of industrial process water. Population growth also results in increased demand for the shipping of goods by ocean freight, with the associated risk of the transport of unwanted marine life from one location to another by the discharge of ballast water.

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