Hungry for hazardous waste: New funding will help commercialize pollution-eating microbes

Professor Elizabeth Edwards (ChemE) and her team have developed a secret weapon in the war against pollution: a mix of micro-organisms that eat toxic chemicals for breakfast. New funding announced today by Genome Canada will help Edwards and her industrial partners bring the unique microbial culture to market.

Everywhere that tanks of oil or gasoline are stored underground, hazardous chemicals such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes — collectively known as BTEX — leak into soil and groundwater. “The owner of every gasoline station on the planet probably has some contamination issues,” said Edwards, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Anaerobic Biotechnology. Read full story.