Facilities & Equipment
The Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre (BDDC) houses pilot-scale facilities for biomass handling, pre-processing, mixing and processing. The BDDC is also equipped for chemical analysis and material testing.
The BDDC is an extension of the Crop Science Building in the Department of Crop Science at the University of Guelph. BDDC projects extend to neighbouring greenhouse and growth facilities at the Crop Science Growth Facility allowing the BDDC to run projects that span from production of biomass through to industrial processing of the end product.
BDDC Processing Laboratory
With its Phase II expansion, the BDDC is now home to 7 state-of-the-art laboratories, each dedicated to research in the area of biobased materials. These include:
- A microscopy lab with an atomic force microscope and a polarized optical microscope, along with a microtome with cryo-chamber
- A characterization lab dedicated to testing the thermal and mechanical properties of biobased materials, as well as the barrier properties of films
- A biodegradability testing lab to determine the aerobic and anaerobic biodegradibility and compostability of biobased materials
- A processing lab, where biopolymers and biofibres are combined in new formulations to produce exciting new blends and biocomposites
- A thermoset lab dedicated to the research of thermoset polymers
- A flammability testing lab, where the flammability of biobased materials is compared to their current industrial counterparts
- A biomass feedstock lab and material handling room where a variety of biomass and polymers are sorted and stored
Undertaking collaborative R&D work at the BDDC allows companies to access a range of pilot-scale processing and characterization equipment including (but not limited to):
- Batch mixer, twin-screw extruder, injection molder, micro-compounder and mini injection molder, hot press, micro cast and blown film line, kinetic mixer, electrospinning, and many more
- TGA, DSC, DMA, UV-Vis & FTIR spectroscopy, universal testing machines (Instron), impact tester, and GPC, GC, density meter, melt flow index, optical and atomic force microscopes
- Aerobic and anaerobic biodegradability testing unit