Emma Master

Contact via University of Toronto

Key Research Areas
Associated Researchers
Associated Organizations

Recent Research Projects

Chemo-enzymatic reassembly of underused biomass fractions

2017/18-2019/20 • $404,750 • PI
In response to pressing climate change, environmental and social concerns, the global economy is becoming increasingly bio-based. Lignocellulosic biomass from forest and agricultural residues represent the most abundant and underused bioresource on earth. So far, sustainable technologies...

BioZone: An Open Bioscience and Bioengineering Research and Training Environment

2019/20 • $150,000 • PI,CO
biomanufacturing,bioproducts,computational biology,intellectual property,machine learning,microbial biochemistry,open science,public policy,synthetic biology,technoeconnomics assessment

Improving Evaluation of Anaerobic Digestion Processes

2019/20 • $147,785 • PI,CO
Diverting organic waste from landfills substantially reduces greenhouse gas emissions and leachate production. Anaerobic digestion (AD) of liquid and solid organic wastes from municipal, industrial and agricultural sources is a preferred waste management strategy. AD stabilizes the waste and...

Biocatalytic Activation of Macromolecular Building Blocks

2017/18-2019/20 • $99,000 • PI
Greater use of all bioresource fractions will be critical to an invigorated forest sector that plays a central role in Canadas growing bioeconomy and national commitments to reduced carbon emissions. Moreover, seizing this opportunity will realize Canadas potential to supply global bioproduct...

NSERC Industrial Biocatalysis Network

2014/15-2018/19 • $5,150,000 • PI,CO
Oil and gas are converted to plastics, chemicals, and other industrial and consumer products through energy-intensive manufacturing processes. These products would be more environmentally sustainable if they were made from renewable resources, such as agricultural and forestry waste, and if they...

Enzymatic grafting of acrylic monomers to lignin for polyurethane resin applications

2018/19 • $25,000 • PI
Lignin is the most abundant natural polyaromatic plant-derived macromolecule in the world. Majority of lignin*is currently used by pulp and paper mills as a source of energy, whereas the presence of aliphatic and aromatic*hydroxyl groups in lignin structures makes it a good candidate for...

NSERC CREATE in Environmentally Sustainable Aviation

2012/13-2017/18 • $1,620,000 • PI,CO
This Industrial Stream NSERC CREATE Research and Training Program in Sustainable Aviation is aimed at graduate and undergraduate students and emphasises the scientific and engineering disciplines responsible for the knowledge and skills needed to build future generations of aircraft which have...

Biomolecular Self-Assembly of Hydrophobins and Fusion Constructs for Biocatalytic Surfaces and Multi-enzyme Complexes

2012/13-2016/17 • $170,000 • PI
Hydrophobins are among the most surface-active molecules known. The amphiphilic properties of hydrophobins promote their self-assembly into films at the interface of liquid and air, liquid and solids, and between liquid phases. This unique family of small amphiphilic proteins are expressed by...

Combined enzymatic and mechanical processing of spent ethanol yeast for recovery of high-value bioproducts

2016/17 • $25,000 • PI
Spent ethanol yeast is a major by-product of bio-ethanol and alcoholic beverage production. Given the high yield of spent yeast and the current limited application of this side stream, the aim of our project is to develop an economically feasible process that combines enzymatic and mechanical...

Development of 100% biobased adhesive for applications in engineered wood products

2015/16 • $8,929 • PI
Wood composite industries mainly use phenolic-based adhesives in the production of exterior grade plywood, oriented strand boards and particle boards. Phenolic adhesives are made from two main components: phenol and formaldehyde, which are both produced from petroleum resources. Cost-effective...

Innovative technologies for biorefining of wood and agriculture biomass

2011/12-2014/15 • $598,260 • PI,CO
Canada has implemented a federal mandate of 5% ethanol blending by 2010. The current ethanol production uses sugars and starches from food crops which competes for land with food production and generates more life-cycle GHG emissions. Second-generation liquid biofuels made from lignocellulose...

Expanding the ability to anaerobically digest pulp and paper mill waste

2012/13-2014/15 • $489,400 • PI,CO
In order for the Canadian pulp and paper industry to stay globally competitive and leave a smaller environmental footprint, its extensive water usage requires optimization. Anaerobic digestion is a cost-effective wastewater treatment option, decreasing the amount of residual sludge while...

Investigating the development of 100% biobased adhesive for applications in engineered wood products

2014/15 • $25,000 • PI
Wood composite industries mainly use phenolic-based adhesives in the production of exterior grade plywood, oriented strand boards and particle boards. Phenolic adhesives are made from two main components: phenol and formaldehyde, which are both produced from petroleum resources. Cost-effective...

NSERC Bioconversion Network

2010/11-2013/14 • $4,363,700 • PI,CO
No summary

Reagent development and assessment for biomass conversion

2010/11-2013/14 • $420,124 • PI,CO
The global market for conventional forest products is increasingly competitive. At the same time, there is acritical need to develop sustainable sources of energy, chemicals and materials from renewable resources.Moreover, through historical investment in the forest sector, Canada has emerged as...

Examining Biomolecular Interactions using Microscale Thermophoresis

2013/14 • $150,000 • PI,CO
As part of a team of 10 structural biologists at the University of Toronto (spanning several departments and faculties), we use biophysical tools such as Atomic Force Microscopy, NMR spectroscopy, X- ray crystallography and electron cryomicroscopy to analyze the biomolecular interactions between...

A versatile differential calorimetry system for evaluation of phase transition and fluid-solid interfacial thermodynamics in nano-structured solids, surfactants, and polymers

2012/13 • $147,876 • PI,CO
A high precision and flow through differential scanning calorimeter is requested in this proposal. This instrument will probe the heats associated with phase transition of materials and with the interaction of gas phase species on solid surfaces over a wide pressure and temperature range under...

Lignin Modification to Produce Sustainable Polyurethane Resin for Coatings

2012/13 • $25,000 • PI
Sustainability has become an important driving force for many polymer industries. Resins are the main component of paints and coatings (50-60%) which are made of fossil-fuel based polymers. Accordingly, the development of bio-based resins by using renewable raw materials constitutes a key step...

Enzyme Treatment in the TMP Process for Energy Savings and Pulp Quality Improvement

2010/11-2011/12 • $74,000 • PI,CO
Newsprint manufacturers have in recent years been experiencing an extremely difficult time due to the challenges created by the popularity of electronic media and the continued increase of the electrical energy costs. To overcome the current challenges, newsprint manufacturers using...

Engineering biocatalysts for the development of Novel materials from lignocellulosic biomass

2010/11-2011/12 • $46,200 • PI
Technologies that promote the utilization of biomass and reduce the demand for petroleum feedstocks will improve environmental and political security. With roughly 68 M ha of arable land, and 10% of the World's forest, Canada has a natural advantage to become a world leader in technologies that...

Tool kit for quantifying gene expression

2010/11 • $81,233 • PI,CO
Engineering specific cellular behaviour is a common objective for a range of important environmental and health biotechnology problems such as tissue engineering, bioremediation, enzyme applications for plant fibre engineering and conversion to fermentable sugars and metabolic engineering. Cell...

Extraction and enzymatic modification of Xylan for cellulose fibre engineering

2010/11 • $78,000 • PI
Our aim is to create new market opportunities for Canada's agricultural and forest industries by generating novel biomaterials that combine the reactivity of polymers extracted from agricultural residues and the strength properties of cellulose from wood fibres. This project combines necessary...



This invention provides a description of novel polypeptides and nucleotide sequences having gluco-oligosaccharide oxidase (GOOX) activity. The polypeptides of the invention can be used for enzymatic processes that modify carbohydrates from wood fiber. These polypeptides can be used in the oxidation of C6 and C5 mono-and oligomeric sugars. These polypeptides can also be used for the oxidation of glucose, xylose, galactose, NAG, xylo- oligosaccharides, cello-oligosaccharides. The novel...
Related applications: CA20122831432, WO2012CA00171, EP20120752709