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Harnessing Microbial Diversity for Sustainable Use of Forest Biomass Resources

Status: 
Past
Competition: 
2010 Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition – Forestry and Environment
Sector: 
Forestry
Environment
Genome Centre(s):
Genome British Columbia
Project Leader(s):
Lindsay Eltis (University of British Columbia), William Mohn (University of British Columbia)
Fiscal Year Project Launched: 
2010-2011
Project Description: 

Towards a new range of bioproducts from forest biomass. The  forestry products industry is one of Canada’s largest contributors to GDP, however, its  role has been diminished by increasing competition, consumer demands for higher  quality products and stakeholder interest in improved forest management. A key part of  remaining competitive involves better management of forest biomass ­ a rich source of  biofuels, feedstocks and other lignin­based products such as resins and carbon fibers.  Together, these could contribute more than $1 billion to GDP.

With funding from Genome Canada, scientists are exploring the microorganisms found  in soil that naturally degrade biomass. Unlocking the potential of forest biomass will lead  to better forest management practices and improve the economics of lignin­based  products. To expedite the wider use of these innovations, an integrated GE3LS  component is investigating key technological, commercial organizational, environmental  and societal issues.