Lab Canada

$55M for research into biomass-based plastics and composites

Ottawa, ON – The National Research Council (NRC) today announced a new $55-million initiative called the Industrial Biomaterials program. The program is aimed at helping to create more fuel-efficient vehicles and greener construction materials.

The $55 million will be spread over five years and consists of $30 million in funding from the NRC and $25 million generated through collaborative projects with industry, academic institutions and other government departments.

The NRC says Canadian firms will now be able to transform agricultural and forestry by-products to create new materials and reduce the use of petroleum-based polymers. The bioresins, biofibres and biocomposites will be made from Canadian non-food biomass (such as wood, lignin, grain husks, flax and hemp stems). These will provide manufacturers sustainable and durable green products to use in next-generation automobiles and building materials.

“Agricultural and forestry by-products will be integrated into new materials, which will ultimately reduce the use of petroleum-based polymers,” said John R. McDougall, the NRC’s president. “These biomaterials promise to be as safe as the materials currently in use by industry, inexpensive to produce and the ideal lightweight technology for the automotive and construction sectors.”

More information about the program is available here.