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Environmental Biotechnology Laboratory

The Environmental Biotechnology Laboratory (LBE) offers its multidisciplinary expertise and state-of-the-art facilities to industry and the scientific community for developing and scaling up production processes for value-added bioproducts. LBE’s facilities cover all production steps, including fermentation, upstream and downstream processes.

The Environmental Biotechnology Laboratory studies the production of bioinsecticides, bioplastics, industrial enzymes, and other value-added products, as well as the processing of fermentable waste such as sewage sludge and agri-food wastewater. Bioreactors of various sizes allow processes to be developed and fine tuned on a pre-commercial scale.

LBE is a unique research facility that trains young researchers and highly qualified personnel in the field of environmental biotechnology.

Our research is supplemented by that of our partners. A coordinating committee prioritizes projects and ensures that research is completed on time.

The laboratory comprises:

  • A Biosafety Level 1 fermentation laboratory, exclusively used for unconventional substrates and equipped with a series of bioreactors (2 x 5 L, 2 x15 L, 2 x150 L, 1 x 2000 L)
  • A Biosafety Level 1 fermentation laboratory, exclusively used for conventional substrates and equipped with a series of bioreactors (2 x 5 L, 2 x15 L, 2 x150 L, 1 x 2000 L)
  • Equipment for the upstream processing of unconventional fermentation substrates, including an industrial sieve and two hydrolyzers (150 and 2000 L – the latter can also be used as a 2000 L bioreactor)
  • Equipment for semi-industrial downstream processing of fermented broths, including an industrial disk centrifuge, a microfiltration/ultrafiltration system, a spray dryer, an ion exchange chromatography system, and a freeze dryer
  • An environmental chamber (Biosafety Level 2) for inoculant production and strain storage as well as quality control and characterization of purified microbial products
  • An analytical laboratory equipped with a GC-MS, an LC-MS-MS, and a cytofluorometer for characterization of unconventional substrates, quality control of certain microbial products, and process monitoring.

 

LBE provides users with technical and R&D support. Our staff helps develop analysis methods, supervise students, and conduct fermentations and chemical and biological analyses at users’ request.

Our scientific staff can carry out projects in the following areas:

  • Treatment of organic waste and increasing its biodegradability
  • Isolation of wild strains from organic waste
  • Production of microbial and fungal biopesticides, microbial inoculants, industrial enzymes, bioplastics, and bio-hydrogen
  • Study of aerobic and anaerobic fermentation parameters (culture media, strains, microorganisms, and growing conditions)
  • Optimization of bioprocesses (experimental design, statistical analysis, fed-batch culture, etc.)
  • Scale up of bioprocesses to 2000 L
  • Concentration and recovery of microbial products on a semi-industrial scale through continuous or semi-continuous centrifugation, microfiltration, and ultrafiltration
  • Semi-industrial formulation of microbial products in granular or powder form
  • Semi-industrial purification of microbial products by ion-exchange chromatography or lyophilisation
  • Feasibility, technical, and economic studies

 

In collaboration with the other laboratories at the INRS Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre, complementary services are provided to meet the specific needs of certain clients, including:

  • Characterization of microbial flora in environmental matrices
  • Analysis of toxic organic compounds by GC/MS or LC/MS/MS
  • Design and fine tuning of methods for analyzing toxic organic compounds by GC/MS or LC/MS/MS
  • Physical and chemical analyses of surface water, sediments, soil, groundwater, wastewater, and sewage sludge.

Please note that the laboratory provides its services in accordance with confidentiality rules. Please contact us for more information.

The research conducted at the Environmental Biotechnology Laboratory focuses on producing value-added products using:

  • Municipal, industrial, or agricultural waste as a basic substrate
  • Fresh biomass and synthetic or conventional culture media
  • New, genetically modified, or existing microbial strains
  • New or existing industrial fermentation processes

 

The following bioproducts are a particular priority: microbial and fungal biopesticides, microbial inoculants, plant growth promoters, industrial enzymes, bioplastics and other biopolymers, biofuels, biosurfactants, and bio-hydrogen.

The Environmental Biotechnology Laboratory is funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Government of Quebec.

Contacts

Mathieu Drouin
Lab Operations Manager and Research Associate
Phone: 418-654-2524 ext. 8061
mathieu.drouin@inrs.ca

Kokou Adjallé
Professor and Scientific head
Phone: 418-654-2610
kokou.adjalle@inrs.ca

Carole Parent
Partnerships and Development Advisor
Phone: 418-654-1801
carole.parent@inrs.ca

Environmental Biotechnology Laboratory

Institut national de la recherche scientifique

Laboratory for Scientific and Technological Innovation in Environment

Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre

2605 blvd. du Parc-Technologique

Québec City, Quebec  G1P 4S5

Canada

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LBE Website