Biology Talk on the Conversion of Bark Biomass to Bio-Based Polyphenols and Polyaromatics

Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - 2:00pm
Smart Room, SBASSE 5th Floor
Department of Biology presents 
Investigation of biological process for the conversion of bark biomass to bio-based polyphenols and polyaromatics
by Dr. Muhammad Ferhan
Date: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 
Time: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Venue: Smart Room, SBASSE 5th Floor
Host: Dr. Amir Faisal 
About the talk
Due to increasing waste production and disposal problems arising from synthetic polymer production, there is a critical need to substitute these materials with biodegradable and renewable resources. The concept of green polymers has become more appealing due to the presence of large volumes of processing residuals from the timber and pulp industries. This, in turn, supports the idea of developing new polymers based on bark extractives. Use of laccases as biocatalysts to affect and enhance the catalytic properties of enzymes has been shown to be a promising solution for bark depolymerization. Furthermore, the industrial and biotechnological application of ligninases is constantly increasing due to their multiple uses and applications in a diversity of processes. Bark depolymerization was conducted in submerged fermentation and we identified polyphenols/polyaromatic compounds. Catalytic oxidation  of  fungal  laccases  was  enhanced  in  the  presence  of  honey  used  as  a  novel  natural mediator substitute (NMS) in production media. Interaction of laccases and bark polyphenolics/polyaromatics eventually modified bark structure to produce bark derived chemicals.
About the speaker
Dr. Muhammad Ferhan joined the Centre for Applied Molecular Biology (CAMB), University of the Punjab, in June 2016 as an Assistant Professor under IPFP. He is a dual citizen (Canada and Pakistan) and completed his PhD in Green Chemistry/LGB from University of Toronto in November 2015. He received two prestigious awards during his PhD, Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) and Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology (QEII‐GSST). Overall, he has more than nine years of research experience including Pakistani and Canadian in the field of Industrial Microbiology/Fermentation Biotechnology/Biological Chemistry at NIBGE, Faisalabad, as well as three Canadian universities including University of Waterloo, York University, and Ryerson University mainly in biotechnology and biochemical engineering domain before joining University of Toronto in 2011. 
In addition, he has done his MSc (Analytical Chemistry), MPhil (Molecular Biology /Biotechnology) which is equivalent to the Master of Science degree with high distinction, specialising in Molecular Biology, from a Canadian University, issued by the University of Toronto, Comparative Education Service (Foreign Credentials, Canadian Explanations Ref:24416).