At La Cité Collegiale’s Centre for Applied Research in Bio-upgrading, which had its official launch November 25, researchers are already finding new uses for the leftovers from industrial and agricultural processes.
“We take either plants or residues from agriculture or any residue like chicken manure, and we try to make something out of it,” said Nathalie Méthot, a researcher and program coordinator at the Centre. “Nowadays, we don’t want to waste anything anymore, so we’re trying to make use of everything.”
For example, she said, once the soybean oil has been extracted from soybeans, the leftover bean meal can be used as animal feed. Researchers are also growing bacteria in bio-fermenters, which produce new proteins from waste material.
The centre’s work also provides a handy in-house co-op program for La Cité’s 75 bachelor’s students in Applied Biotechnology, who vie for 15 to 20 full and part-time jobs there during the school year and in the summer.
“It’s on the same floor, so they finish their labs and courses and then they go to work,” said Méthot.