Lassonde visiting professor to present special public lecture, May 29

Guneet Kaur

Department of Civil Engineering Visiting Professor Guneet Kaur from Hong Kong Baptist University is hosting a special lecture titled, “Circular [Bio] Economy: Turning Waste to Wealth in a waste-based biorefinery approach.”

The lecture will take place on Wednesday, May 29, from 10 to 11 a.m. in Room 313, Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence, Keele Campus. This lecture is free and open to the public.

The concept of circular economy was launched in 2010 and is quickly gaining momentum as people prioritize sustainability, material and energy efficiency, reduced waste generation and greenhouse gases emissions.

Design and adoption of circular economy approaches, which account for sourcing, production, consumption, disposal and reuse or recycling of resources is needed to fulfil the criteria of sustainable development.
To this end, the biorefinery concept has been envisaged to drive the transition from the current linear economy (extract-process-consumption disposal) to a closed loop economy wherein the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in internal cycles for as long as practically possible.

Bio-based sourcing of high value-added products from non-food and/or waste feedstocks has attracted a great deal of attention in the biorefinery production model. While fulfilling the criterion of renewal of products, this aspect importantly depends on development of robust production schemes, increased market opportunities, and policies and regulations from government and private institutions.

In this talk, Kaur will use case studies of a food waste and textile waste-based biorefinery to present these aspects of a closed-loop waste-based biorefinery model for production of valuable products including biosurfactant, sugar feedstock and recycled fibre.

Kaur is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), Hong Kong, and specializes in bioprocess engineering, molecular microbiology, mathematical modelling and process optimization and in-situ product recovery (ISPR).

She is the recipient of several awards and fellowships and is the author of more than 20 publications in high impact factor journals. Her current research projects focus on food waste biorefinery, anaerobic digestion and resource recovery from waste streams.