Impact

Although a great deal of the research conducted at BioZone can be classified as fundamental, as engineers we feel it is important that our research is applied and generates positive societal impact. We use multiple channels to translate our research into practice.

Commercialization

kb1-vesselSiREM – KB-1® and KB-1® Plus

The microbial cultures KB-1® and KB-1® Plus were developed in Dr. Edward’s lab to remediate sites contaminated by industrial chlorinated solvents. Chlorinated hydrocarbons can be highly toxic impacting the central nervous system and can cause liver and kidney damage.

The microbial cultures were commercialized as the remediation and testing company- SiREM. The KB-1 and KB-1 Plus cultures have now been used worldwide for over a decade to enhance bioremediation of chlorinated solvents including: Chlorinated ethenes, Chlorinated ethanes, Chlorinated methanes, Chlorinated propanes, RDX, and Chlorofluorocarbons.


Chemicals from renewable feedstocks – Ardra Bio

Through the Industrial Biocatalysis Network and other projects, BioZone researchers and students are identifying and optimizing enzymes and metabolic pathways that can transform renewable biomass into useful specialty chemicals and materials.

logoOnce such technology is being commercialized through a startup called Ardra Bio. Ardra Bio is currently incubating at the Indie Bio Accelerator.

Life Cycle and Technoeconomic Assessment – Savant Technical Consulting

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BioZone researchers launched and now operate Savant, a research-driven consulting company that provides world-leading expertise in the fields of microbiology and biotechnology, process and bio-process design, financial modeling, and life cycle assessment (LCA) for the renewable energy, environmental remediation, biofuels, and waste management industries.


Innovations

Inventions

Some of the recent inventions from BioZone projects and researcher include:

adipitic acid blue

  • Novel pathways for production of diols and diacids (chemical precursors to replace petroleum feedstocks)
  • Microbes engineered for 1,3-butanediol production
  • Novel Enzymes for recycling of plastics made from Polylactic Acid
  • Method to spatially and chemically resolve lignin from polysaccharides in woody samples
  • Process for fortifying salt with iron and iodine (Double Fortified Salt)
  • Three-dimensional tissue-scale modeling technology

Material Transfer Agreements

BioZone uses standardized Material Transfer Agreements to share the commercially relevant enzymes and cultures it identifies with its industry partners. This process allows the industry partners to rapidly test and scale up useful enzymes for commercialization.

Education

BioZone has trained over 100 graduate students and more than 40 Post-Doctoral Fellows. It is our goal to not only provide excellent technical training but to equip students with the tools needed to critically shape public discourse and policy creation.

To learn about BioZone Alumni visit: biozone.utoronto.ca/alumni/.

Social Benefits

BioZone research promotes sustainable and healthy environments by: Cycle-blue2

  • developing biotechnologies to produce chemicals, materials, and biofuels using renewable biomass feedstocks rather than petroleum,
  • identifying biocatalysts to replace chemical catalysts that rely on toxic compounds,
  • promoting healthy populations through fortifying foods with essential nutrients,
  • using microbial communities to clean up industrial contaminants,
  • using enzymes and microbial communities to reduce and recycle waste,
  • and developing biotechnologies to reduce carbon emissions.