Dr. Amar K. Mohanty, Professor

Dr. Mohini Sain
Director, Centre for Biocomposites and Biomaterials Processing
University of Toronto, Toronto Ontario


While his research is conducted on a microscopic scale, the environmental implications and results of Dr. Mohini Sain’s work are considerable. Combining molecular biology with nanotechnology, Dr. Mohini sain photosSain’s research focuses on creating bio-plastics – similar to petroleum based plastics, these are made exclusively from natural fibres of plants such as corn, soybean, hemp and wood pulp. Bio-plastics are completely recyclable, light, resilient, strong as steel and easy to form, yet use less energy to make and result in less greenhouse gas emissions in the process.

Rather than divert raw materials from the world’s food supply, Dr. Sain and research partner Dr. Amar Mohanty (Professor of Plant Mohini sain photosAgriculture and Engineering, University of Guelph) focus their studies on the use of wood shavings and other forest industry waste left after processing.  An idea that occupied his thoughts when he started his career working as a polymer-processing engineer in the pulp and paper industry, Dr. Sain’s spin-off company Greencore uses wood fibre to make natural fibre and plastic composites. Greencore is working with a manufacturing company to further research manufacturing plant trials.

Dr. Sain trained in Chemical Engineering, received his M.Sc. E. in Polymer Technology and obtained his PhD in Chemical Technology in 1988 through the UNESCO program in Europe. His work has taken him to the UK, the Caribbean and the US before he moved to Mohini sain photosToronto. Presently he is a Forestry and Chemical Engineering Professor and Director at the Centre for Biocomposites and Biomaterials Processing, Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto. He teaches green process chemistry, sustainable manufacturing and design to engineering, science and arts students.

As a pioneer in the use of renewable raw materials, Dr. Sain continues to do research on nano-biocomposites manufacturing and works with a team of international researchers and graduate students to mass produce nano-fibres from wood and other agro- and root-based raw materials. The group, using funding from Auto-21 Network of Centres of Excellence, has made significant progress developing ways to Mohini sain photosincorporate wood and other natural fibres in liquid and injection molding processes to manufacture high impact resistant structural parts.

Additional research is looking at modelling the strength properties of hybrid composites. The group is working on the development of new UV stabilization chemistry to develop smart windows (nanofilm to capture solar energy in the house). They are studying hybrid nanocomposites based on nano-clay and wood fibre to develop original ways to improve the impact and flame-retardant behaviour of wood fibre plastic composites.  

Dr. Sain’s research is motivated towards a more environmentally sustainable future. Presently he is working with Canadian General Towers and others  to make green foam with MDF (medium density fibre). His research has potential for use in automotive parts, office furniture, sports equipment, smart textile (detecting cause in advance), thunder and lightening dissipation coating for aircraft and medical devices. Nanomaterials can even make for unique sounds, different notes and rhythms in musical instruments.

Mohini sain photosThe 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.

Visit the Nano-Structured Industrial Biomaterials Group Website

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