Characterization and applications of biogenic nanomaterials from salmon aquaculture processing waste

Principal Investigator
Dr. Francesca Kerton, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Department of Chemistry


NRC Collaborator
Dr. Edmond Lam and Dr. Alfred Leung, Advanced Biomaterials and Chemical Synthesis Team

Project description

Sustainable methods for food production are sought as the global population increases and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has recognized aquaculture as a key contributor to global food security.

This proposal aims to valorize salmon processing waste into new environmentally-benign functional materials for chemical catalysis, and the biomedical and energy sectors. The proposed technology will impact the triple bottom line as follows: increased profit for aquaculture/fish processing activities as secondary products are manufactured, increased employment opportunities in rural regions in a female dominated industry, and reduced environmental pollution from biologically hazardous waste.

Enhanced scholarship for a PhD student to develop skills and knowledge in the area of green materials chemistry. The student will be based at Memorial University but also spend time at the NRC site in Montréal. They will develop an environmentally sustainable method for transforming salmon processing waste into advanced biogenic nanomaterials. The utility of these nanomaterials in proof-of-concept activities (e.g. biomedical, catalysis and/or the energy sector) will be investigated to yield potentially high-value bio-products. This builds on recent research from the Kerton group: Matter, 2020, 3, 2029-2041; Green Chem., 2019, 21, 3920-3929.


The student will have completed an undergraduate honours degree in chemistry and ideally will have completed an M.Sc. in a relevant discipline (e.g. Materials Chemistry). The latter is optional as excellent students (1st class standing with research experience) can be admitted directly into the PhD program in Chemistry at Memorial University after completing undergraduate studies.

Position has been filled.