Elizabeth Edwards

Key Research Areas
Associated Researchers
Associated Organizations

Recent Research Projects

Remediation Education Network (RENEW)

2014/15-2019/20 • $1,650,000 • PI,CO
The Remediation Education Network (RENEW) is a CREATE program that will train the next generation of engineers and scientists in the interdisciplinary professional and technical skills they need to work at cleaning up the most challenging contaminated sites in Canada. Contamination of soil and...

Anaerobic Biotechnology

2014/15-2019/20 • $1,200,000 • PI
No summary

Enhancing dewatering, drying, combustion and utilization of pulp and paper mill biosludge

2017/18-2019/20 • $564,600 • PI,CO
Canadian pulp and paper mills generate more than 20 million cubic metres of raw biosludge per year. Biosludge is generated during biological wastewater treatment and consists to >98% of water with the remainder being bacteria and tree residues. Energy intensive dewatering can decrease the water...

Anaerobic consortia and enzymes for biotransformation of aromatic compounds

2015/16-2019/20 • $175,000 • PI
These are very exciting times in fundamental and applied environmental microbiology and biotechnology owing to recent advances in analytical tools and techniques to interrogate complex microbial ecosystems. These tools include quantitative DNA and RNA extraction and amplification tools,...

Field Testing of Novel Technologies for Restoring Challenging Contaminated Sites

2019/20 • $151,600 • PI,CO
Cleaning up contaminated sites in Canada is a significant challenge, in part due to the limited cost effective technologies that can efficiently reduce contamination to safe levels. This is a particular challenge when impermeable soils, such as clay and silts, are contaminated. The use of...

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...

Anaerobic digestion of solid wastes: process enhancements; synergistic effect of food waste on digestibility of lignocellulosic fibres

2018/19-2019/20 • $85,712 • PI
Vast quantities of garbage are sent to landfill every day. A significant fraction of this waste is organic and decomposes naturally to produce leachate and landfill gas, both threats to the environment. Anaerobic digestion (AD) occurs naturally in the absence of oxygen as microbes break down...

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...

Integrating microbial characterization tools into conceptual site models (CSMs) at complex contaminated sites

2018/19 • $275,635 • PI,CO
This project is a very close collaboration between hydrogeologists and geochemists at Geosyntec Consultants (Guelph, ON) and technical experts at DuPont on an extensive team effort to better approach the multifaceted remediation of a large complex contaminated site. Remediation of such sites is...

Operations and Maintenance Support for the BioZone MS Facility

2016/17 • $150,000 • PI,CO
The BioZone mass spectrometry facility (BMSF) is associated with the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto and is part of the BioZone Centre for Bioengineering. The BMSF provides services and training to internal and external researchers and...

Anaerobic digestion of solid waste: a new approach to accommodating feedstock variability to achieve stable operation at an affordable cost

2013/14-2016/17 • $114,056 • PI
Canadians dispose of about 25,000,000 tonnes per year of solid waste, including 8,000,000 tonnes of organic waste which decomposes in landfills to produce leachate and landfill gas, both a potential threat to the environment. Organic waste can be aerobically composted or anaerobically digested...

Radioisotope facility to track chemical & biochemical processes

2015/16 • $150,000 • PI,CO
Radiolabeling techniques have allowed exceptional discoveries that dramatically improved human and ecosystem health. Tracking of radio-labeled chemicals enables the study of transformation of drugs and endogenous compounds in the body, and that of agricultural and industrial contaminants in the...

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...

Bioprocessing of nickeliferous sulphidic wastes from mining activities

2013/14-2014/15 • $140,000 • PI,CO
We propose to investigate the amenability to bio-processing of a metallurgical waste stream produced by the Xstrata Nickel smelting operations in Sudbury, Ontario, namely nickeliferous pyrrhotite concentrate. This is an iron-sulphur mineral (approx. stoichiometry Fe1-xS) that is rejected because...

Anaerobic microbial consortia and enzymes for biotransformation of aromatic compounds

2014/15 • $47,000 • PI
This Discovery Grant proposal is focused elucidating the mechanisms for the anaerobic microbial transformation of the widely used industrial chemical benzene. Benzene is the simplest unsubstituted aromatic hydrocarbon, is toxic and carcinogenic, and is the structure at the heart of more complex...

Anaerobic treatment of dairy wastewater and whey

2014/15 • $24,500 • PI
Gay Lea Foods is a co-operative owned by over 1,200 farmers and produces dairy products such as butter, cheese, and milk. The wastewater generated in the company's production facility in Toronto is currently being treated in a nearby municipal wastewater treatment plant. In order to stay market...

Bio-leaching of nickeliferous pyrrhotite and ultramafic concentrates

2011/12-2013/14 • $300,000 • PI,CO
No summary

Contaminant-degrading processes revealed through metagenomic analysis of microbial consortia

2010/11-2013/14 • $220,000 • PI
This research aims to improve understanding of how microbes transform and detoxify common pollutants in the subsurface and to use that knowledge to devise efficient and cost-effective ways to bioremediate contaminated sites and to protect valuable water resources. Over the last decade, we have...

Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometer (ICP-OES)

2011/12 • $127,727 • PI,CO
The requested equipment is an Inductively Coupled Plasma - Optical Emission Spectrometer (ICP-OES), as the most reliable and sensitive method used for the rapid, simultaneous multi-element determinations at the ultra-trace level. The advanced analytical capabilities of the ICP-OES allow for high...

Surface-modified iron nanoparticles for remediation: multiscale investigations of transport, reactivity and aggregation

2010/11 • $158,844 • PI,CO
Chlorinated solvents such as trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene and carbon tetrachloride are used in large volumes by various industries. Uncontrolled or accidental discharges of chlorinated solvents into the subsurface at many industrial and military sites have led to extensive soil and...

Investigation of CSIA as an innovative quantitative tool for performance assessment of groundwater remediation at contaminated sites

2010/11 • $138,500 • PI,CO
Contamination of groundwater by organic contaminants represents one of the most urgent challenges facing environmental scientists, industry, government regulators and society. This application addresses directly the Target Area Healthy Environment and Ecosystems, specifically addressing the...

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...

Patents