York University

Dr. Ahmed Eldyasti leads the Wastewater and Waste-to-Energy research in the Department of Civil Engineering at Lassonde School of Engineering at York University. Dr. Eldyasti initiated the Wastewater and Waste-to-Energy research at York four years ago, and has nearly a decade of experience in the area. Dr. Eldyasti’s research is focused on biological treatment for wastewater and biosolids, often working in collaboration with industry partners. He notes that “I see a lot of interest from the industry to upgrade and improve conventional biological systems and processes and this type of research is relevant to the industry.” Under Dr. Eldyatsi’s supervision, his team of graduate students are working on a number of research projects to improve Wastewater and Waste-to-Energy processes. The primary areas of research include:

  • Improving the efficiency of anaerobic digestion (AD) using a biofilm process
  • Developing an additive to improve the hydrolysis and metabolic processes of anaerobic digestion
  • Looking to recover more resources from AD using different methanotrophs, bacteria that metabolize methane, to convert biogas into resources such as liquid chemicals and biopolymers
  • Odour control from anaerobic digestion and hydrogen sulfide reduction

Brad Cochrane, Director of Energy Management at York, is amazed at the amount of growth and interest in the faculty under Dr. Eldyasti’s leadership and comments that “Familiarity with biogas technologies should be common knowledge to engineers graduating from the faculty, we recognize this is something we need to teach to the next generation of engineers.” York is actively diversifying the types of programs that students can take, with an emphasis towards science and engineering. The Lassonde School of Engineering officially launched in July 2012 with a founding donation from Pierre Lassonde to create a home for the Renaissance Engineer.

York University has been actively investigating biogas solutions for the campus and currently has its own dedicated collection program that diverts 300 tonnes of organics a year to an off-site anaerobic digestion facility. York University is committed to sustainability with a high-level sustainability strategic plan exploring options to be a carbon neutral campus by 2050. York has recently completed a $41.5M retrofit project to decrease energy use, which has cut electricity consumption by over 25 percent. The Keele Campus has an onsite 10 MW co-generation plant that increases resource efficiency and lowers operating costs. The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence, where Dr. Eldyasti’s lab is located, was recently Gold LEED-certified in recognition of its environmental performance and sustainable design.

York University joined the Canadian Biogas Association (CBA) as members in March 2016 to connect with the network of people working the biogas industry and learn more about innovative technologies. York’s network continues to grow by being a part of the CBA and attending meetings. Through CBA events, Dr. Eldyasti has met industry partners and is able inform people about the biogas research being conducted at York University.

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