Dr. Amar K. Mohanty, Professor

Dr. Amar K. Mohanty
Premier’s Chair in Biomaterials and Transportation, Director, Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario


Dr. Amar Mohanty is certainly a leader in biomaterials research. Based out of the University of Guelph, Dr. Mohanty serves as Director of the Bioproducts Discovery Centre as well as the  Ontario Premier’s Research Chair in Biomaterials and Transportation. amar mohanty photos

A member of the Ontario Bioproducts A-Team, Dr. Mohanty  is an expert in the production of biomaterials, the technology which turns non-food plant materials into resins, polymers and tough fibres for the production of petroleum-free plastics. His goal is to provide sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based resources while trying to capture value for co-products, such as lignins and glycerol from biofuels, which might otherwise be waste products.

He believes that biobased materials and biofuels are the ‘wave of the future’ and will be able to provide sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based resources. In the context of  depleting petroleum resources, global warming, greenhouse gas emission, growing amar mohanty photosenvironmental threats and national security, now is the time to be investigating biobased solutions. And every day he works towards this vision - facilitating a transition to a biobased economy by providing a foundation of economic and environmental sustainability for the materials industries, especially the automotive sector.

Through interdisciplinary research in chemical and structural engineering, agricultural chemistry, plant biology, and traditional and molecular plant breeding, The Bioproducts Discovery Centre develops innovative, cost effective biobased consumer products and technology. A key to their success is their eagerness to work collaboratively with fellow researchers at the University of Guelph and other Ontario universities, as well as with institutions and industryamar mohanty photos international.

One success has already hit the market in a big way. Plastic bins, flower pots and bird feeders made from switchgrass are already available through at least two major Canadian hardware stores. The products have made an economic impact, with at least two-spin-off companies. 

Dr. Mohanty has authored more than 250 publications, has 138 peer-reviewed journal papers; four book chapters, three textbooks, two edited books, and two magazine articles to his credit. He was the lead editor of a book “Natural Fibres, Biopolymers and Biocomposites,” published by Taylor & Francis CRC Press in 2005. Dr. Mohanty serves as Editorial Board Member in the Journal of Polymers and Environment, Recent Patents on Material Science and Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and is "Editor-in-Chief" of the Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy. He has seven US Patents awarded and more than 20 patent applications pending.

amar mohanty photosA former Michigan State University professor, Dr. Mohanty received his B.Sc., M.Sc. and PhD from Utkal University in India. He has been the recipient of a number of prestigious awards such as the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship at the Technical University of Berlin, Germany and the Andrew Chase Forest Products Division Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, where he is also a Director.
In the fall of 2011, Dr. Mohanty was awarded Jim Hammar Memorial Service Award during the international conference of the BioEnvironmental Polymer Society (BEPS). The award, named for the late W. James Hammar, a founder of the society and a division scientist at 3M with a distinguished research career and a strong passion for scientific excellence. The award is presented every two years to a BEPS member who exemplifies the qualities of service and dedication inspired by Mr. Hammar.

The new Ontario Biomaterials “A-Team”, assembled by Ontario Agri-Food Technologies and the Ontario Centres of Excellence is a consortium of leading scientists each with unique skills, expertise and world-class equipment in the development, processing and optimization of biomaterials. They’re the best choice for developing and processing novel and customized biomaterials.

“A-Team” members are eager to work cooperatively with each other and with industry. They are all globally recognized for their scientific expertise. They understand corporate needs - including speed of service, confidentiality and respect for corporate ownership or exclusive access to intellectual property.

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