Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry
Our goal is to discover, design and produce enzymes and non-catalytic proteins that can be used to create new polymers and chemicals from plant fibre. In this way, our aim is to produce high-value materials and specialized biochemicals from under-utilized plant components (eg. hemicellulose, lignin, extractives) that provide renewable alternatives to petroleum-based compounds.

Our enzymatic approach benefits from three key advantages of enzyme catalyzed reactions, 1) catalytic specificity that allows predictable modification of complex substrates, 2) mild reaction requirements that can reduce energy costs and 3) protein biodegradability, which helps to ensure that the end product, and its synthesis, is sustainable.