Life cycle assessment of biobased materials

Partners and funding:

The $3.5 million BioNIB project is lead by University of Guelph and includes partners from Universities of Toronto, McMaster and Waterloo.

Research is supported by government partners and industry partners in biofuels, agriculture, forestry, automotive and other sectors, including Myriant.

Funding grants:

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAFRA) - U of Guelph Partnership (2010-2012). Renewable, Recyclable and Lightweight Hybrid Green Composites from Lignin, Switch grass, Miscanthus and Bioplastics for Sustainable Manufacturing   .

Ontario Research Fund Research Fund (ORF-RE4) (2011-2015). Improved Utilization of Co- products from Second Generation Biofuel Industries for the Production of New Industrial Bioproducts (BIONIB project).

Meet the research team:

Professor Steven B. Young

H.I. (Moses) Moussa- Masters of Environmental Studies, Environment and Resource Studies Master’s student

Will Moniz- Masters of Environmental Studies, Environment and Resource Studies Masters student

Stephanie Whitney- Masters of Environment and Business student and research assistant

Jeremy Vasil- Masters of Applied Environmental Studies, Local Economic Development (2013)

Yves Gerard- visiting scholar (2011)


Life cycle assessment (LCA) of bio-based products and conventional materials, suitable for auto parts and consumer products made of new biobased materials

LCA methodology and theory. Develop and test approaches and models on various potential solutions to the “co-product problem” for bio-based materials and products.

Making LCA broader and deeper. Longer term aim for a broader set of sustainability indicators and stronger meaningful assessments of complex agri-food products.

Ontario LCA database development. Biobased industrial products from agricultural and forestry production: feedstocks materials (switch grass, miscanthus, lignin, hemicellulose, etc.), chemicals (succinic acid, glycerol, etc.), polymers (polybutylene succinate, etc.).

Project activities:

  1. Moussa, H., Young, S.B., Gerand, Y. (2012). Polybutylene Succinate Life Cycle Assessment Variations and Variables Environmental and Sustainability Impact Measurement.  American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2012 International Congress on Energy. October 30. Pittsburgh. 8 pages.
  2. Moussa, H. (2013). Polybutylene Succinate Life Cycle Assessment.  “BioNib” First Annual Meeting. Oral presentation. January 15. University of Guelph.
  3. Vasil, J. Moulding Automotive Bioplastics in Ontario: Is it a Cluster? Major Research Paper, Master of Applied Environmental Studies in Local Economic Development. School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, University of Waterloo. January 2013.