Professor Nemy Banthia receives $1.5 million from NSERC to develop carbon-neutral materials to rehabilitate Vancouver sewerage

Dr. Nemy Banthia, a professor in the UBC Department of Civil Engineering, has been awarded $1.5 million from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Alliance program on a project to repair and rehabilitate Greater Vancouver’s sewerage systems.

Maintaining and repairing aged sewerage is an ongoing challenge for many municipalities and regional utilities. Around Canada, it poses a $9 billion problem. This is especially complicated for sewerage systems under crowded urban areas, which require careful planning for assessment, repair, and replacement.

A collaboration with Metro Vancouver and industry partners, Dr. Banthia’s project will utilize robotic placement technologies to improve efficiency and reduce both cost and CO2 emissions for corrosion protection and rehabilitation of sewerage systems.

The project aims to improve upon a recently developed and patented Multiphase Composite Coating (MCC) materials that have 65%-85% less embedded carbon than that of currently used traditional Portland cement mortars.

The project will approach carbon neutrality in MCC materials by using carbon sequestration, recycled sand, natural biocides, and fibers derived from scrap automobile tires.

The carbon-neutral MCC materials developed in this project will be applied to six field demonstration projects including existing pipes, manholes, and chambers.  

Full-scale trials with Metro Vancouver will improved the MCC technology and reduce both material and placement costs.