Contaminants. By-products. Waste. Common descriptors that have become synonymous with the impact of modern living. UBC is conducting ground-breaking new research across multiple disciplines to combat the negative effects industrial activities have on our natural surroundings.
A very special species of hybrid poplar trees has been bred and planted in landfills to help clean the soil. UBC professor Susan Murch and her team of researchers are now studying how to extract the chemicals from these trees and turn the contaminants into residues that be reused and recycled into natural household cleaning products and organic fertilizer to grow new plants. More details here.
Another multi-partner research partnership, led by UBC researcher Lukas Bichler, is exploring the use of by-products from mining and smelting operations in the southern interior to extract and purify valuable minerals and metals that can be processed into secondary, value-rich materials. Learn more here.
UBC researcher Mike Deyholos is dissecting the genetic profile of flax to transform the stems (or straw) from a waste material into advanced materials commonly used in automobile manufacturing and for other industrial applications. Learn more here.