The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) has announced the launch of the Industrial Biomaterials program, a new initiative aimed at creating more fuel-efficient vehicles and greener construction materials.
“This new program will strengthen Canada’s role as a leader in the development of innovative, and sustainable materials and technologies,” said the Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology). “This is yet another example of how we’re ensuring more ideas get to the marketplace, as this program integrates the expertise of the NRC with the business know-how of Canadian industry leaders to manufacture new lightweight, cost-effective and bio-sourced materials for next generation vehicles and homes, to improve the quality of life of Canadians.”
The Industrial Biomaterials program is a $55-million initiative over five years consisting of a $30 million investment by the NRC, and $25 million generated through collaborative projects with industry, academic institutions and other government departments.
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 (plastics). Bioresins, biofibers and biocomposites made from Canadian non-food biomass (such as wood, lignin, grain husks, flax and hemp stems) are environmentally friendly and provide alternative ecological options. 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, president of the National Research Council of Canada. “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.”
The use of renewable materials is growing at a fast pace in many industries, including the automotive and construction sectors – the two largest components of the North American composite market.