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NSERC Prizes 2019: Amar Mohanty

Department of Plant Agriculture and School of Engineering
University of Guelph
In partnership with Competitive Green Technologies, 1797472 Ontario Inc. and Prism Farms Ltd.


Video Name

NSERC Prizes 2019: Amar Mohanty


NSERC Communications



Release Date

May 6, 2019


Amar Mohanty has teamed with three Ontario-based companies to develop innovative biodegradable materials that are substitutes for petroleum-based plastics. The University of Guelph researchers use natural fibres and resins found in non-food agricultural material and waste streams to create these biocomposite materials. One of their biodegradable materials is now used in single-serve coffee pods by companies around the world, including McDonald’s and Club Coffee. Mohanty’s team is advancing sustainability within the food industry by drastically reducing the plastic waste produced by these popular beverage products. A separate application of their research is leading to durable bio-based composite materials for automotive parts and consumer products. In addition to their green advantages, their biocomposites are much lighter in weight while exhibiting the same strength and durability as conventional plastics.

Amar Mohanty

Imagine in our whole world a lot of plastics is being produced. We make about 400—more than 400 million metric tonnes of plastic per each year. So idea is to reduce the plastic use and utilize some waste-based resources to implement the new innovation in the area of bio-based materials.

Manjusri Misra

The goal is to improve the quality of the life by reducing greenhouse gas emission as well as utilizing more and more renewable food stock-based material.

Atul Bali

This is something called coffee chaff. It's the skin of the coffee beans, and was typically being just discarded. So a technology was discovered where you could actually use this, and you convert that into a very unique ring, and this now goes into a typical Keurig pod. It's compatible with Keurig. You now can throw this in your organic waste bin. It's compostable. It's on shop shelves today across Canada.

Mike Thiessen

This collaboration has been great because it allows us to utilize the resources here at the BDDC, that we can then take at our level and scale them up to pilot scale and commercial levels.

Amar Mohanty

We expect that we'll continue this collaboration, and it can help a lot to develop someeco-friendly alternative, and that will help our world and help to our Canadians, and that is what we are looking for.