U of T Forestry Bio-Based Technologies in Automotive Industry on Display at Ottawa Museum

Wednesday, January 4, 2012 2:30:00 PM

Research News


Professor Mohini Sain
Photo: Professor Mohini Sain's work on creating plastic automobile parts from forest industry waste in currently on display at Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa. (Caz Zyvatkauskas, news.utoronto.ca)

A new exhibit showcasing new bio-based technologies in the automotive industry, From the Farm to the Freeway, is currently on display at the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa until June 10, 2012.  The exhibit will take viewers through the process of turning raw plant materials into auto parts by showcasing the work of Professor Mohini Sain of U of T's Faculty of Forestry and other researchers at AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence. 

AUTO21 is Canada's automotive research and development program, helping to advance the country's automotive sector through new knowledge and technologies. With more than 100 partners, AUTO21 currently supports nearly 200 researchers across Canada working on 39 different automobile-related projects.  For example, Sain and research partner Amar Mohanty, a professor of plant agriculture and engineering at University of Guelph, use forest industry waste -- the wood shavings and other debris leftover after turning logs into wood planks -- to develop bio-based plastics. In turn these plastics are used for making auto parts such as door panels and bumpers.

"As we move from traditional forestry to a new world of forestry, conservation is the model," Sain said. "We will cut even fewer trees and generate more economic productivity by fostering new, innovative technology connected to microbiology and nanotechnology."

This is an edited excerpt of an article found at www.news.utoronto.ca.

Click here for more information on the exhibit.
More information on Dr. Mohini Sain:

More information on Dr. Amar Mohanty: http://www.uoguelph.ca/plant/faculty/mohanty/