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Microbial community structure and dynamics associated with controlled biofuel release in laboratory settings

UPP009
  • Project Leaders: Steve Hallam
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $400,000
  • Competition: User Partnership Program
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome BC
  • Fiscal Year: 2014
  • Status: Closed

One of the pillars of British Columbia’s bioenergy strategy requires the use of blended biofuels including ethanol, methanol and biodiesel. Despite the promise of using blended biofuels to offset climate impacts of fossil fuel consumption, recent research has demonstrated that biofuel production and transport are not without social and environmental hazards. In partnership with Shell, the American Petroleum Institute and regulators, including the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, British Columbia Ministry of the Environment, Science Advisory Board for Contaminated Sites in British Columbia, and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the biofuels project will investigate consequences of biofuel releases across ecological scales, from human health to subsurface microbial ecosystems. This information will provide a microbial ecology perspective on the environmental consequences of blended biofuel releases, enabling user partners to make more effective site management decisions and inform the development and implementation of new risk mitigation strategies.