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March 27, 2017 7:32 AM

Conestoga awarded grants to support e-waste recycling research

Dr. Hamid Karbasi, Conestoga’s NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Advanced Recycling Technologies for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), and industry partner Greentec International, have received approval for two separate grant applications through the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE). Combined, the research grants awarded total $110,000.

The grant applications were made through the OCE’s Voucher for Innovation and Productivity (VIP) program, which helps eligible Ontario companies develop, implement and commercialize technical innovations by supporting industry-academic collaborations.

The grants will support two projects related to Karbasi’s research and development of recycling technologies for WEEE: They include:

  • Intelligent Robotic Workcell for Flat Panel Display Dismantling and Recycling
  • Robotic Dismantling and Recycling of Computer Hard Drive

In September 2016, Conestoga was awarded $1M over five years through NSERC’s Colleges and Community Innovation program to support Karbasi’s applied research into WEEE. Karbasi has been working with faculty, students and industry partners to develop new solutions aimed at enhancing productivity and sustainability through e-waste recycling.

WEEE has become the fastest growing sector of solid waste with 40 to 50 million tons generated globally each year. Estimates suggest only 15 to 20 per cent of it t recycled.

Karbasi’s research activities will result in new products that can be commercialized by local equipment manufacturers, as well as new processes that will generate value and cost savings across a range of manufacturing operations. This research will benefit manufacturing industries and electronic recyclers and result in increased proper e-waste treatment, recycling and landfill diversion rates.

“These grants will allow us to expand the objectives of our current hard drive dismantling project, as well as build upon the outcomes of our previous OCE VIP research project related to robotic-assisted recycling of cathode ray tubes and flat panel displays" said Karbasi. "The new five-semester project -- Intelligent Robotic Workcell for Flat Panel Display Dismantling and Recycling -- allows us to focus on machine learning and artificial intelligence combined with robotics, which is a very exciting field of research for us. We are grateful to OCE for the opportunity to continue our research."

For more information, visit NSERC and OCE

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