Project Overview

Image - Green Car

This Bio-carbon Innovation for Light-weight Material Applications project represents a partnership between University researchers, industry, and public sector. This initiative will focus on producing a wide variety of new biocarbons from co-products of biomass conversion and agricultural resource waste streams. This project aims to advance Canada’s manufacturing competitiveness in auto-parts, packaging, and consumer product uses that utilize bio-carbon in order to substitute the petro-based carbon, supporting sustainability and utilization of renewable resources.


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Research Team

Principal Investigator

Dr. Amar Mohanty

Headshot - Dr. Mohanty

Dr. Mohanty is the Director of the Bioproducts Discovery & Development Centre (BDDC) at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. He is an international leader in the field of bioplastics, biobased materials, and biorefinery with a focus in engineering new sustainable materials.


Dr. Franco Berruti

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Dr. Berruti is the Director General of the Institute for Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources (ICFAR) at Western University in London, Ontario. He is an accomplished researcher with expertise is gas-solid fluidized bed reaction and reactor technologies applied to thermal cracking processes for agricultural, forestry and industrial residues. He is the co-inventor of a mobile biomass pyrolysis process for agricultural and forestry residues commercialized by Agri-Therm Inc.


Dr. Fantahun Defersha

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Dr. Fantahun Defersha is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering, University of Guelph. His research interests are in manufacturing system analysis, flexible and cellular manufacturing systems, reconfigurable machine tools and reconfigurable manufacturing systems, part sequencing and scheduling, production and inventory planning, productivity and cost analysis, supply chain modeling and simulation, reverse logistics and re-manufacturing systems analysis, artificial intelligence and meta-heuristics, development of hybrid heuristics for multi-objective optimization problems by combining analytical methods such as simplex algorithm and Lagrangian relaxation with search methods including genetic algorithm and simulated annealing, and the applications of parallel computing in those areas mentioned above.


Dr. Stefano Gregori

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Dr. Gregori's current research interests are in the design, analysis, and characterization of integrated circuits, interfaces, and sensors with analog and digital applications. His research aims at the development of low-power integrated nano-scale systems for reconfigurable multi-standard terminals, energy harvesters, power microconverters, and sensors.


Dr. Manjusri Misra

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Dr. Misra’s current research focuses primarily on novel bio-based composites from agricultural and forestry resources for the sustainable bio-economy targeting the development of bio-based and eco-friendly alternatives to the existing petroleum-based products.


Dr. Sudip Rakshit

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Dr. Rakshit has considerable experience in the area of utilization of lignocellulosic residues for the production of bioethanol and renewable chemicals. He was part of a team which was involved in setting up a pilot plant for the ethanol from agricultural residues like rice straw, wheat straw and sugar cane bagasse. As the Vice President Research of the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), a graduate school, among other initiatives he created a Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Development in the context of Climate Change.


Dr. Mohini Sain

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Dr. Sain is the Dean and Professor of Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto.  He is also cross-appointed to the Department of Applied Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Toronto since 2001. He is the recipient of many Industry-University Awards for his significant academic and industrial contribution to the development of biocomposites and commercialization activities. His areas of research include nano bio-technology, natural fiber composites, and mass production of nano fiber.


Dr. Alfons Weersink

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Dr. Alfons Weersink, Professor, Department of Food, Agricultural & Resource Economics, University of Guelph. His research interests include Agri-environmental Policy, Farm Structure and Production Economics, has been working on the evaluation of economic, environmental and land-use impacts of green policies on the agri-food sector. His research areas are agri-environmental policy, farm structure, and production economics.

Project Management

Dr. Milka Popov

Headshot - Dr. Milka Popov

Research Project Manager, University of Guelph


Mr. Shaun Wilson

Headshot - Mr. Shaun Wilson

Manager, Research Financial Services, University of Guelph


This project is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science. Partners on this project include a collaboration between researchers from four Universities and eleven industry partners. 

Collaborating Institutions

Logo - University of Guelph


Logo - Western University


Logo - University of Toronto


Logo - Lakehead University

Supporting Industry Partners

  Logo - FordLogo - Du Pont    

  Logo - Club Coffee Logo - Orbis       

  Logo - The Woodbridge GroupLogo - Competitive Green Technologies

  Logo - Nott Farms Logo - KMW    

  Logo - 1797472 Ontario Inc. Logo - IGPC Ethanol Inc.

    Logo - Whitecrest Mushrooms






Nov 16, 2018 - 3rd Annual Biocarbon Research Meeting

The third annual research team meeting was held on November 16th, 2018. Over 40 participants from academia, industry, and government attended the event. In the meeting, researchers from collaborating institutions updated research progress for the project “Innovation and Commercialization of Bio-Carbon from Advanced Biorefinery for Green Composite Applications”. The event included research presentations and poster presentations by trainees, along with research presentations by both Professor Franco Berruti, from Western University, and Sudip Rakshit from Lakehead University.

There was a keynote speaker at the event along with a Special Address by Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner, and Hamdy Khalil the Senior Global Director for Advanced Technologies and Innovation, from the Woodbridge Foam Corporation.

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Nov 17, 2017 - 2nd Annual Biocarbon Research Meeting

The second annual research team meeting was held on November 17th, 2017. Over 40 participants from academia, industry, and government attended the event. Invited speakers at the event were: Prof. Richard Gross, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Tim Faveri, Maple Leaf Foods.

Trainees presented their work in oral and poster presentations.

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Sep 29, 2016 - First Research Team Meeting for the Project: Innovation and Commercialization of Biocarbon from Advanced Biorefinery for Green Composite Applications

The first research team meeting for this research project was held on September 29th, 2016 to discuss the future and plans for the project. 


Aug 31, 2016 - BDDC Receives Infrastructure Funding from Federal and Provincial Governments

In today’s announcement, BDDC will receive infrastructure funding dedicated to bio-carbon innovation and commercialization research activities. This funding is part of the UofG infrastructure funding received through the federal Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) as well as matching funds from the province of Ontario and the University Guelph.

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Jun 11, 2015 - BDDC Receives $3.2M from the Ontario Research Fund's Research Excellence Fund

Funding for the Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence project entitled “Innovation and Commercialization of Bio-carbon from Advanced Biorefinery for Green Composite Applications” was announced today. Led by Prof. Amar Mohanty, the project team is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of researchers from four Ontario-based Universities who will work with government and industries in Canada and globally. The funding was among the recent investments from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation announced on campus today by Liz Sandals, minister of education and MPP for Guelph.

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Jun 11, 2015 - Ontario Government Invests $10.6 Million in U of G Research

The University of Guelph will receive $10.6 million to support research ranging from improved farming and species identification to subatomic physics and biomaterials to recycling of e-waste and fighting cancer.

The funding for 16 projects comes from the Ontario Research Fund's Research Excellence and Research Infrastructure programs and the province's early Researcher Awards.

A significant amount of this investment will go to the Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre (BDDC), which makes bio-based materials for use in auto parts, packaging, and consumer products.

BDDC members are among eight researchers from four Ontario universities who will work with government and industries in Canada and globally.

“My colleagues and I applaud the government for investing in innovative bio-based technologies being developed in Ontario,” said Prof. Amar Mohanty, BDDC director and holder of the Ontario Premier’s Research Chair in Biomaterials and Transportation.

BDDC has become an innovation hub for sustainable materials manufacturing that is essential to Canada’s future, he said. “With our new project, we are not only committed to addressing issues of environmental sustainability but also to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels.”

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