Over the last century, Canada’s natural resource industry (forestry, mining and agriculture) played a significant role in nurturing Canada’s economic and social growth. Unfortunately, Canada’s forestry sector has experienced unprecedented cyclical and structural challenges over the better part of the last decade. These have significantly eroded our economic well-being, as well as posing new environmental challenges. The 21st century calls for more effective use of our natural resources, not only by pre-processing them but by adding further value to keep Canada in a leadership role in the industrial world. To achieve this goal it is of paramount importance that future research and innovation strategies strongly link Canada’s natural resource industry with manufacturing to create processes and products that are leading-edge, energy-efficient, and eco-friendly.

Due to the rapid advancement of nanotechnology in the biomedical sector in the past 10 years, it is anticipated that the next growth area for nanotechnology will be in developing energy-efficient processes and lightweight performance products for industrial applications. CBBP is working on a comprehensive research program to develop next-generation energy-efficient lightweight performance nanomaterials for industrial applications, including aerospace, automotive, biomedical and electronics uses, by utilizing our primary and secondary natural resources such as forest- and agro-residues. An array of novel hybrid nanomaterials and bench-scale prototype products has been developed, and the current focus is on scale-up operations to incorporate nano-biofibre entities into engineered plastics with exceptional functional properties. This research area will not only provide strategic advantages toward sustainable development of Ontario’s forest sector, but will also address the environmental issues to a large extent as these bio-based niche products have the excellent opportunity of carbon storage potential compared to their fossil fuel-based chemicals and plastics. The other important area of research at CBBP is focused on a biorefinery approach to tackle the tremendous challenges being faced by Canada’s pulp and paper industry in dealing with enormous quantities of sludge in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner. A number of sub-themes in this area are being worked out at the facility to transform residual biomass from pulp/paper effluent plants into value-added chemicals, bio-composites, biofuels, and formaldehyde-free wood adhesives. The positive outcomes from this research leading to scale-up commercial activities will ensure much needed financial assistance to the cash-strapped paper industry, provide extra jobs to adjacent neighborhoods and, at the same time, improve environmental health of communities by diverting huge quantities of sludge from going to landfills.

In the area of bio-based raw material development, three main research themes based on cellulose fibre, vegetable oil, and starch are being explored using state of the art indigenous technologies. Through an extensive research network, this centre has been able to develop innovative bio-resins and polymers through functional improvements on industrial crops and processing/separation of biological feed stocks.

The 21st century calls for more effective use of our natural resources not only by preprocessing them but by adding further value to keep Canada in a leadership role in the industrial world. CBBP has been at the forefront in conducting multidimensional research motivated by dedication to environmental sustainability and industrial efficiency. A variety of research themes are being extensively pursued in our labs including bio-nanotechnology. CBBP is working on the development of next generation energy efficient lightweight performance nanomaterials for industrial applications including aerospace, automotive, bio-medical and electronics. Some of our dedicated researchers are also working on solving challenges faced by Canadian Pulp and Paper industry. Focusing on improving the cost effectiveness and sustainability of the biorefinery system include themes such as transformation of residual biomass from the pulp and paper industry into useful chemicals and composites. Furthermore, our esteemed researchers are exploring the utilization of bio-based raw materials such as cellulose fibers, vegetable oil, rubber, and starch in commercial and industrial applications for a green and prosperous future. Our research projects are categorized into four distinct research areas:


  • FORD Motor Co. Canada
  • TOTAL-Hutchinson, France
  • Ingredion, Canada
  • Rank Chemicals, India
  • Cooper Tire, USA
  • Magna International Inc.
  • Canadian General Tower Ltd (CGT), Canada
  • Tata Industries Limited, India
  • Ceat Tire, India
  • DSM N.V, Netherlands
  • Konica-Minolta
  • Aditya Birla – AV Group


  • The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
  • Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
  • Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE)
  • AgriInnovation Program (AIP)
  • The Centre of Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy (CRIBE), North Ontario
  • The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SODP)


  • University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada
  • University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada
  • McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Swedish Institute of Composite (SICOMP), Pitea, Sweden
  • FPInnovations, Canada

  1. Biopolymer & Forest Pathology Lab
    • 2-D Electrophoreses Cell (Protean/IEF Cell)
    • MALDI TOF/TOF Analyzer
    • EXQuest Spot Cutter
    • Janus Automated Liquid Handling System
    • Fermenter
  2. Bio-Composite Processing
    • Lab Co-Rotation Twin Screw Extruder
    • Onyx IM-380 Injection Molding Machine
    • Co-Rotation Twin Screw Extruder Compounding and Sheet Line
  3. Analytical and Testing Equipment
    • FTIR Spectrometer
    • Raman Spectrometer
    • Universal Tester
    • Contact Angle Measuring Instrument: OCA 15EC
    • Environmental Chamber
    • Capillary Rheometer
    • X-ray Micro-Computed 3D Tomograph

CBBP Services

Equipped with state-art processing equipment and analytical instruments, CBBP is actively working with researchers and industry partners in developing advanced bio-composite material, prototyping, and evaluating the performance of product. CBBP is ready and dedicated to assist all our collaboration partners.

Accessing CBBP Services and Facilities

If you would like to know more about CBBP’s capability or want to access to the CBBP facility and service, please contact:

Dr. Suhara Panthapulakkal

Operation Manager
CBBP, Faculty of Forestry,
University of Toronto
33 Willcocks Street,
Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3B3
Tel: 416-978-5665, Fax: 416-978-3834
Email: s.panthapulakkal@utoronto.ca

Dr. Muhammad Pervaiz

Program Coordinator
CBBP, Faculty of Forestry,
University of Toronto
33 Willcocks Street,
Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3B3
Email: muhammad.pervaiz@utoronto.ca

Shiang Law

Senior Researcher (processing and evaluation)
CBBP, Faculty of Forestry,
University of Toronto
33 Willcocks Street,
Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3B3
Email: shiang.law@utoronto.ca

Dean & Professor

Hon. Doctorate, PhD, P.Eng, FRSC (UK), FCAE

Director, Centre for Biocomposites and Biomaterials Processing


Dr. Sain specializes in advanced nanocellulose technology, biocomposites and bio-nanocomposites at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Forestry. He is cross-appointed to the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry. He is a fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry, UK and Fellow of Canadian Academy of Engineering. Besides, he is also an adjunct professor of the University of Guelph,University of Lulea, Sweden, Honorary Professor at Slovak Technical University and Institute of Environmental Science at the University of Toronto, and collaborates with American and European research institutes and universities.

Prof. Sain is globally known for his pioneering work on Biocar Initiative and in 2009 issue of Toronto Life Magazine featured his idea as the second best among 25 World Changing Ideas from the Smartest Torontonians. Dr. Sain holds several awards; few recent ones are Plastic Innovation Award and KALEV PUGI Award for his innovation and contribution to Industry. Author of more than 400 papers and designated as a “hi-cited” researcher by Reuter Thompson, Prof. Sain hugely contributed to the society at large by translating research to commercialization. He has tens of patents and is world known for his expertise to transform research idea into commercialization. Until now he has done more than 30 technology transfers to industry and created new companies for making products ranging from packaging to automotive to building construction to packaging materials. Prof. Sain’s research activities are documented by global television networks, magazines and radio interviews.

He is also the co-author of the world’s first book on Cellulose nanocomposites, cellulose for electronic devices and has co-edited a number of books on renewable advanced materials. He is involved in many global strategic research policy developments, standardization, research funding strategic councils in advisory role. He is highly acclaimed engineering consultant in materials engineering and work with almost 100 companies worldwide.

Prof. Sain’s role as a pioneer in creating non-profit organizations that are highly meaningful for society at large. He is the founding member of Canadian natural Composite Association, Bio Auto Council and many more. He has championed world’s WPC industry by actively perusing his vision of global important of this green and emerging industry. He chaired many of these global committees and helped nurturing this industry to over billion dollar market.