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Industrial Research Chair in Agroforestry Extraction

The emergence of bioeconomics opens up promising outlets for transformation of forest industry residues and agroforestry materials into biosourced products (e.g. valorization of yellow birch bark). Much progress has been made on knowledge of valorization of forest residues.

However, the development of the agroforestry sector requires a better understanding of:

  • the diversity of the chemical compositions of biomasses from varied sources;
  • the availability of efficient and reliable production technologies with a reduced environmental footprint.

Expert, Yacine Boumghar, Ph. D., Chairholder

Yacine Boumghar, Director of CÉPROCQ, has solid expertise in extraction and separation eco-processes and in intensification of pilot-scale processes. He directs an Industrial Research Chair geared to valorization and commercial scaling of agroforestry extractables.

Vision for the Chair

Mr. Boumghar plans to make this Chair a centre of convergence of knowledge of agroforestry extraction. He wants to transform it into an incubator of avant-garde technological solutions to meet the needs of the community and the industrial players.

Goals of the Chair

  • Network public, associative and industrial initiatives to mutualize efforts and harmonize innovative actions;
  • Decompartmentalize the forest and agricultural sectors regarding scientific and economic issues;
  • Favour integrated technological solutions;
  • Develop extraction, purification and separation eco-processes;
  • Develop analytical tools to determine the chemical composition of extractable agroforestry products ;
  • Evaluate the biological activity of the extracts or extract fractions that will be produced.

Objectives of the Chair

  • Establish a sequence of processes for obtaining tannin-rich extracts from barks and other forest residues;
  • Optimize supercritical extraction of triterpenes (betulinic acid and betulinol) present in white birch bark
  • Establish a production platform for extractable forest products of different Québec species;
  • Establish a valorization platform for berries selected for their antioxidant potential: blueberries, cranberries, sea buckthorn, etc.
  • Biochemically characterize the different extracts: establish the chromatographic profile, measure the polyphenols, anthocyanins and proanthocyanins and measure the antioxidant potential.

Scientific and Technical Collaboration

In addition to the industrial partners, the Chair relies on scientific and technical collaboration with various organizations:

  • CanmetENERGY of Natural Resources Canada.
  • Université du Québec à Chicoutimi
  • École Polytechnique de Montréal
  • Université d’Avignon
  • Université Aix-Marseille

This structuring collaboration will favour pre-commercialization of bioactive products and ingredients on the Canadian market. They provide an alternative solution of the conventional synthesis products used in manufacturing pharmaceuticals, functional foods or nutraceutics.

Partners

DuPont Canada Inc.

Coopérative forestière des Hautes-Laurentides

 

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fermenteurs

1-to-4-litre fermenters

This photo shows CÉPROCQ’s 3.6-litre fermentation unit with sensors making it possible to measure the DO and control and change, during the process, the pH, the agitation speed and the gas flows necessary for fermentation.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pilot units for supercritical extraction and fractionation

CÉPROCQ has 2 large-scale supercritical extraction units: a pilot unit allowing treatment of up to 2 kg of raw material and a production unit allowing treatment of up to 50 kg of raw material.

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