Current Large Projects
This project is developing biocatalysts that will upgrade renewable forest biomass to create green high-value bio-based polymers for targeted applications, including resins, coatings, bioplastics, and adhesives for lightweight biocomposites.
Biochemicals from Cellulosic Biomass is engineering yeast and bacteria to produce difunctional compounds including diacids, diols, diamines, and combinations of these functional groups from renewable resources. These chemicals will replace monomers typically produced from the petrochemical industry, thereby reducing green-house gas emissions and toxicity.
The Elements of Bio-mining project will aim to harness the capabilities of microbial communities to stabilize mine wastes to prevent acid mine drainage and make the recovery process economic by recovering valuable metals (Ni, Cu, Zn).
Instead of using fossil fuels to make plastics and industrial chemicals, what if we could harness eco-friendly enzymes “nature’s smallest helpers” to do the work?
This project is optimizing and scaling-up microbial cultures and monitoring tools that will drive an in-situ remediation of benzene and BTEX compounds. Outcomes include:
- significantly decreasing the time to clean up sites
- reducing the cost to meet regulatory requirements
- avoid disrupting on-going site activities
- reducing the costs of site monitoring
Currently, nylon is made from petroleum. While the process works well, it is not as environmentally friendly. There is strong demand for nylon produced from sugar, which requires less energy and results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions. In this project Visolis with the University of Toronto will develop engineered yeast strains capable of economically producing adipic acid for bio-nylon production from renewable feedstocks at industrial scales.
Knowledge of the 3D structure of proteins/enzymes is important to understand their function. The Center for Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases (CSGID) is a consortium of labs funded by the NIAID with the overall goal of providing 3D structure and function information of proteins from pathogenic bacteria causing human disease.
Past Large Projects
The overall goal of the BEEM project is to develop commercializable cultures and enzymes, identified in environmental metagenomes, that can transform low value materials or wastes into high value products. A particular focus will be on anaerobic environments as a source of useful microbes, as these are not well-studied and have great untapped potential.
FFABnet harness biological processes to create high-value, high-performance chemicals and polymers from renewable plant resources, including forest and agricultural residues.