Fleming College’s Centre for Alternative Wastewater Treatment (CAWT) and Trent University will receive federal research funding through a College-University Idea to Innovation grant, part of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s (NSERC) College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program.

The two institutions will jointly receive $749,820 over three years for research of Euglena as a wastewater management solution.

Peterborough’s Noble Purification Inc., a water filtration company based at Trent University, has shown that Euglena, a type of algae, can absorb contaminants from wastewater. Researchers from Trent and the CAWT will use the funding to determine Euglena’s capabilities in removing contaminants from industrial wastewater sources such as mines, reveal its genetic profile, as well as develop the applied research into commercially viable techniques.

“The results of this research will not only further our knowledge and understanding of Euglena as a wastewater management solution, but it will also further the development of the technology and provide a cost-effective alternative solution to current wastewater treatment methods,” said Mary Lou McLean, director of applied research at Fleming College.

“We are very pleased that Trent and Fleming are once again partnering on a major project,” remarked Neil Emery, VP of research and international at Trent University. “Our two institutions have an outstanding record of co-ventures, especially in environmental research and education.”

A separate $146,276 grant will be used to replace old equipment, which will allow the CAWT to enhance efficiency and expand its capacity to do water quality analyses.

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