Kamalpreet Kaur

Roles and responsibilities

My research role is to find biotechnological ways for carbon sequestration in mine tailings/slags as well as to recover critical minerals for circular economy. I work to develop innovative biotechnological approaches for the remediation of metallurgical waste generated by mine industries includes microbial bio-oxidation-reduction, biocyanidation, bioflocculation and bioflotation.

Current research and/or projects

Project 1: Hybrid biotechnology for mineral carbonation in mine tailings

The process of carbon mineralization has been identified as one of the most promising strategies dedicated to the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. Among these processes, the ex-situ mineralization of alkaline materials contained in mine tailings is particularly appealing. Researchers have estimated that in Quebec only, approximately 1.7 million tons of atmospheric CO2 have been passively captured by serpentine tailings. From USGS (2018), ultramafic mine tailings have a dynamic storage capacity of 7,000,000 tCO2/yr. For mineral carbonation, mining and metallurgical wastes need to contain divalent metals, and some pre-treatments of the wastes have been shown to accelerate CO2 capture by enhancing mineral dissolution. Our project plans to develop a biotechnology using microorganisms to catalyze CO2 carbonation, forming stable metal carbonates. Cavitation treatments will be used to improve the grindability of the material, thus reducing its size and viscosity, and along with organic-acid producing microorganisms, to improve both carbonate precipitation and simultaneous critical minerals recovery by increasing dissolution of the mineral matrix. Encapsulation of bacteria and the use of immobilized microbial enzymes will be tested to improve and stabilize the biological process. New innovative technologies exploiting mineralogical matrices must be supported by advanced geochemical and mineralogical investigation, which will be developed, adapted and optimized.

 

Project 2: Mechanistic Understanding of Acidophilic Electroactive Biofilms

Most bacteria are capable of forming surface-associated, architecturally complex communities, known as biofilms. The so-called electroactive biofilms possess the unique metabolic feature that enables electroactive microorganisms to use solid-state electron donors or acceptors such as electrodes (man-made systems) or sulfide minerals (natural ecosystems). Electroactive biofilms have been exploited in biotechnology for the production of chemicals as well as towards biofuels, biohydrogen and electricity production in microbial fuel cells. However, the role of natural acidophilic biofilms in acid rock drainage production and for improving biohydrometallurgical processes has not been investigated yet. In general, there is a gap of knowledge on the reactions inside biofilms and electrochemical reactions (no established electrochemical theory of biofilms). The exact mechanisms of extracellular electron transfer between microorganisms and solid substances remain a matter of intensive debate. Harnessing the catalytic activities of electroactive biofilms will ultimately require deep understanding of how biofilm cells transfer electrons across the surface-attached multilayered community. Three different routes for direct electron transfer between microbial assemblages and solid surfaces have been proposed: (i) via redox proteins located on the bacterial membrane (e.g. metalloproteins), (ii) via redox compounds excreted from the bacteria (e.g. siderophores), and (iii) via conductive nanowires that interconnect bacterial cells to the solid surface. A proteomic-based approach will be used to elucidate the physiology and molecular mechanisms participating in electron transfer in acidophilic biofilms during sulfide mineral oxidation processes. Advanced techniques will also be used to tentatively measure the kinetics of redox mediators inside biofilms, resolving local concentrations of chemical species inside the biofilm and resolving the physical location of electrochemically active species. Interactive associations among metabolically cooperative bacterial populations will also be investigated.

Research and/or project statements

Project 1: Critical Minerals Recovery from Mine Waste for a Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy (Completed)

Project 2: Validation of a cost-effective approach for CO2 capture in mine tailings and reuse of carbonates as value-added products (Completed)

Project 3: CO2 capture and biocementation of iron and steel slag for geotechnical applications (Completed)

Education

  • Postdoctorate, York University, Toronto, Canada, January, 2020- March, 2022
  • Ph.D., Life-Sciences-Microbiology, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab, India, 2019
  • M.Sc., Microbial & Food Technology, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, India, 2008
  • B.Ed., Bachleor in Education, Punjab University, Chandigarh, India, 2006
  • B.Sc Medical Sciences, Punjab University, Chandigarh, India, 2005

Professional activities/interests

  • To mentor undergraduate and graduate students in research activities
  • To Interview new hires
  • To be committiee member 
  • To write and submit scientific research grants and fundings
  • To develop academic and industrial collaborations 
  • To Teach academically undergraduate and graduate students

Affiliations

  • Research Officer
  • Assistant Professor
  • Academic & Research Advisor

 

Awards

  • March 2022- Mitacs Elevate Postdoctoral Fellowship Award-Thematic Call 2022-2024 ,

Canada Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Quebec, Canada. Research Project: Green technology to develop graphene oxide (GO) from forestry waste to remediate waste streams

Industrial Collaboration: Produits forestiers GreenFirst, Ontario 

  • Jan.2021 - Jan 2022-Mitacs Accelerate Fellowship award

York University , Toronto, Canada in collaboration with Centre Technologique des Résidus Industriel (CTRI), Rouyn-Noranda, QC, CA

Research Project: Development of innovative approaches for the extraction and recovery of resources from gold- bearing materials

Industrial Collaboration: Agnico and Glencore, Canada 

 

  • Nov. 2018 - Feb. 2019-Awarded with Merit Scholarship program for foreign students (PBEEE) 2018-19 funded by FRQNT, Quebec, Canada

Host Institute: INRS-ETE, Université du Québec, QC, Canada.:

Research Project: Value Added Utilization of Fruits and Vegetables Waste in Biodiesel Production at INRS Institute, Quebec.

 

  • Apr. 2016-Successfully qualified cut-throat competitive examination 'National ICAR ARS-NET 2016' for teaching position with 72% (percentile) held among 0.5 million applicants.
  • Apr. 2012-Successfully qualified a highly competitive examination 'Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) with all India rank holder 1535

Certification/Licenses/Trades

  • Canada Labour Code Part II: An Overview (WMT110-EN), 14 June, 2022

Canada School of Public Service

  • Certificate Course WHMIS 2015, Dec, 2021.

Key publications

1. Kontham Kulangara Varsha, Vivek Narisetty,Kamalpreet Kaur Brar, Aravind Madhavan, Alphy Maria Paul, Sindhu Raveendran, Mukesh Awasthi, Sunita J. Varjani,Binod Parameswaran. Antiviral metabolites in functional and fermented foods and their role in immunity and prevention. Journal of Food Science and Technology -Mysore. Published May 2022.

2. Kamalpreet Kaur Brar, Yashika Raheja, Bhupinder Singh Chadha, Sara Magdouli, Satinder Kaur Brar, Shashi Kant Bhatia*, Ahmed Koubaa*. A paradigm shift towards production of sustainable bioenergy and value-added products from Cannabis/hemp biomass in Canada. Biomass Conversion & Biorefinery. (IF 5.0).

3. Kamalpreet Kaur Brar, Gurpreet Kaur, Sara Magdouli, Satinder Kaur Brar*, Carlos Ricardo Soccol. Lipid production using agricultural residues. In: Microbial Lipids – Processes, Products, and Innovations- Bioproduction for foods, nutraceuticals and biofuels. Publisher: Elsevier series on Biomass, Biofuels, Biochemicals.Editors: Ashok Pandey, Carlos R Soccol, Ashok Pandey, Julio Carvalho, RD Tyagi.

4. Kamalpreet Kaur Brar, Hayat Raza, Sara Magdouli, Satinder Kaur Brar. Role and importance of filtration system in modular drinking water treatment system (MDWTS). In: Modular Treatment Approach For Drinking Water And Wastewater. Editor: Satinder Brar, Pratik Kumar, Agnieszka Cuprys. Publisher: Elsevier. 

5. Kamalpreet Kaur Brar*, Anelyse A. Cortez, Vanessa O. A. Pellegrini, K. Amulya, Igor Polikarpov, Sara Magdouli, Shashi Kant Bhatia*, Satinder Kaur Brar. An overview of the progress, advances, and future outlook for biohydrogen production technology. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. (IF 5.8). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhydene.2022.01.156

6. Calugaru, Iuliana Laura, Selma Etteieb, Sara Magdouli, and Kamalpreet Kaur Brar. Efficiency of thermally activated eggshells for acid mine drainage treatment in cold climate. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A (2022): 1-11.http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10934529.2022.2027699

7. Brar, K.K., Etteieb, S., Magdouli, S., Calugaru, L. and Brar, S.K., 2022. Novel approach for the management of acid mine drainage (AMD) for the recovery of heavy metals along with lipid production by Chlorella vulgaris. Journal of Environmental Management, 308, p.114507. (IF 6.7).https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2022.114507

8. Kamalpreet Kaur Brar, Sara Magdouli, Amina Othmani, Javad Ghanei, Narisetty Vivek, Raveendran Sindhu, Parameswaran Binod, Arivalagan Pugazhendhi, Mukesh Kumar Awasthi, Ashok Pandey. Green route for recycling of low-cost waste resources for the biosynthesis of nanoparticles (NPs) and nanomaterials (NMs)-A Review. Journal of Environmental Research, p.112202 (IF 6.4). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.112202

9. G. Renuka, Amulya Kotamraju, Kamalpreet Kaur Brar, Sara Magdouli, Sindhu Raveendran, Binod Parameswaran, Vinod Kumar, and Vivek Narisetty., 2021. Biological production of organic acids by filamentous fungi. In: Current Developments in Biotechnology and Bioengineering “Filamentous Fungi Biorefinery”.Publisher: Elsevier.

10. Etteieb, S., Magdouli, S., Komtchou, S.P., Zolfaghari, M., Tanabene, R., Brar, K.K. and Brar, S.K., 2021. Selenium speciation and bioavailability from mine discharge to the environment: a field study in Northern Quebec, Canada. Environmental Science and Pollution Research,1-14. (IF 4.3) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-14335-1

11. Etteieb, S., Zolfaghari, M., Magdouli, S., Brar, K.K. and Brar, S.K., 2021. Performance of constructed wetland for selenium, nutrient and heavy metals removal from mine effluents. Chemosphere, p.130921. (IF 5.7) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.130921

12. Kamalpreet Kaur Brar, Sara Magdouli, Selma Etteieb, Mehdi Zolfaghari, Homayoun Fathollahzadeh, Laura Calugaru, Simon-Pierre Komtchou, Rayen Tanabene, Satinder Kaur Brar (2020). Bioleaching-Electrometallurgy for Metal Recovery - A Critical Review. Accepted in Journal of Cleaner Production.pp.125257 (IF: 7.4). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.125257

13. Kamalpreet Kaur Brar, Yashika Raheja, Marcos di Falco, Adrian Tsang, B.S Chadha, 2020. Novel β-glucanases along with xylanase identified in Thermomyces lanuginosus secretome for enhanced saccharification of different lignocellulosics. Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery Accepted. pp 1- 14. (IF: 3.48) https://doi.org/10.1007/s13399-020-01152-8

14. Brar KK, Santo MC, Pellegrini VO, deAzevedo ER, Guimaraes FE, Polikarpov I, Chadha BS, 2020. Enhanced hydrolysis of hydrothermally and autohydrolytically treated sugarcane bagasse and understanding the structural changes leading to improved saccharification. Biomass and Bioenergy. 139:105639. (IF: 4.04). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2020.105639).

15. Brar KK, Chadha BS, Brar SK, Singh P, 2020. Biotechnological Strategies for Enhanced Production of Biofuels from Lignocellulosic Biomass. In: Valorization of Biomass to Value-Added Commodities. pp. 521-551. Springer, Cham. (https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-38032-8_24).

16. Brar KK, Martinez DL, Naghdi M, Brar SK, Chadha BS, Singh P, Surampalli RY, 2020. Industrial Practices in Sustainability. Sustainability: Fundamentals and Applications. pp.313-38. (https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119434016.ch15).

17. Agrawal D, Kaur B, Brar KK, Chadha BS, 2020. An innovative approach of priming lignocellulosics with lytic polysaccharide mono-oxygenases prior to saccharification with glycosyl hydrolases can economize second-generation ethanol process. Bioresource Technology. 26:123257. (IF: 7.2) (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2020.123257).

18. K. Brar, D. Agrawal, B.S Chadha, Hung Lee (2018). Evaluating novel fungal secretomes for efficient saccharification and fermentation of composite sugars derived from hydrolysate and molasses into ethanol. Bioresource Technology. 273:114-121. (IF: 7.2) (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2018.11.004) 19. K.Brar, A.K Sarma, M. Aslam, Igor Polikarpov, B.S Chadha (2017). Potential of oleaginous yeast for conversion of sugarcane bagasse hydrolysate into biodiesel. Bioresource Technology. DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2017.03.155. (IF: 7.2) (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2017.03.155)

20. K.Brar, Satindar Kaur, B.S. Chadha (2016). A novel staggered hybrid SSF approaches for efficient conversion of cellulose/ hemicellulosic fractions of corncob into ethanol. Renewable Energy. 98:16-22. (IF: 6.1) (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2016.03.082)

21. K Kaur, Ankita, S.Garcha (2013). Bioremediation of dairy effluent using Candida intermedia MTCC 1744 and Kluyeromyces marxianus MTCC 3772. J. of Industrial Pollution Control. 29 (1): 49-54. (IF: 1.30) 22. Modgil A, Garcha S, Bansal M, Kaur K, Dhammi M, Kaur H (2009). Potential of yeast in biological treatment of dairy effluent. Indian J. of Dairy Science. 62 (2): 155-158.

Previous work experience

 

  • Jan 2022 - March 2022 Postdoctoral Fellow York University, Toronto, Canada in collaboration with National Research Council, Montreal Canada, Project: Sustainable and Lean Technologies for Critical Elements Recovery from Oil sands tailing streams
  • Institutional Collaboration: National Research Council, Montreal, Canada & NRCan, Ottawa, Canada Industrial Collaboration: Suncor Energy, Alberta, Canada 
  • Jan 2021 - Jan 2022 Mitacs Accelerate Postdoctoral Fellow York University , Toronto, Canada in collaboration with Centre Technologique des Résidus Industriel (CTRI), Rouyn-Noranda, QC, CA Mitacs Accelerate Research Project: Development of innovative approaches for the extraction and recovery of resources from gold-bearing materials Industrial Collaboration: Agnico and Glencore, Canada 
  • Jan 2020 - Dec 2020 Postdoctoral Researcher York University , Toronto, Canada in collaboration with Centre Technologique des Résidus Industriel (CTRI), Rouyn-Noranda, QC, CA Research Project: Bioleaching of Cu from Slags by introducing innovative approach of Bioelechtrochemistry funded by NSERC, Canada Industrial Collaboration: Glencore, Canada
  • Oct. 2020 - Present Academic Advisor of PhD student Mohammad Hossein Karimi Darvanjooghi York University , Toronto, Canada in collaboration with Centre Technologique des Résidus Industriel (CTRI), Rouyn-Noranda, QC, CA Project Description: Development of benchmark and hybrid process for gold extraction from double refractory gold ores
  • June 2017 - July 2018 Academic Advisor of PhD student Yashika Raheja & Dhruv Agarwal Department of Microbiology, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab, India Project Description of Yashika Raheja: Novel Strain Improvement Techniques for Hyper-cellulase Production and Cloning/Expression of Cellulase Genes for Designing of Cost-Effective Cocktails. Project Description of Dhruv Agarwal: Cloning and Expression of different Carbohydrate-Active enZYmes (CAZy) into Heterologous Host(s) as Mono-components to enhance Hydrolysis of Lignocellulosic Biomass for Biofuel production Contributions: My role to design experiments; monitor research progresds; data analysis as well as involve in writing and editing of scientific manuscript
  • Jan. 2017 - July 2018 Academic Advisor of M.Sc Students Department of Microbiology, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab, India Rashi Goyal, Neha Jarewal, Nidhi Sharma (6 month) Research Project : Conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into bioethanol. Jasmine Kaur and Simarjeet Kaur (6 month) Research Projects: Prospecting thermophilic fungi as a source of auxiliary cellulolytic enzymes. Contributions: My role was to design experiments, carried out data analysis and guided students for the manuscript
  • Mar. 2013 - Mar. 2018 Research Fellow Department of Microbiology, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab, India Successfully completed research project entitled “Production of Bioethanol and value-added products from lignocellulosics by Chemical & Enzymatic Hydrolysis” of University Grants Commission, New Delhi under UPE Scheme-Environment Management program. Budget: 10,00,000 INR (Indian Rupees)

 

International experience and/or work

  • June 2013 - Dec. 2013 Teaching Assistant Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab, India Course: Industrial Microbiology and Class: B.Tech Food Technology (4th semester)
  • Aug. 2009 - Mar. 2013 Assistant Professor in Microbiology Department of Biotechnology, Guru Nanak College affiliated with Panjab University, India Courses: B.Sc Biotechnology honours (1st year; student strength 25-40)-General Microbiology; Cell Biology B.Sc Biotechnology honours (2nd year student strength 31-45)-Agro & Industrial Biotechnology; Biochemistry B.Sc Biotechnology honours (3rd year; student strength (30-35)-Molecular Biology; Bioprocess Engineering & Technology; Food Biotechnology; Environmental Biotechnology; Genetic Engineering
  • Other activities: Practical implementation of theroretical knowledge Assessment and grading of student work Guidance and mentoring in career choices Maintain an active program for professional development Monthly tutorial meeting to solve student problems Event Organizer: Seminar on Applications of Biotechnology in Agriculture (Feb., 2012) Coordinator: Seminar on Emerging trends in Biotechnology and Bioinformatics (Sept., 2010)
  • Aug. 2008 - May 2009 Quality Control Chemist Asianlak Health Food Ltd., Ludhiana, Punjab (India) 
Kamalpreet Kaur

Kamalpreet Kaur

Assistant Research Officer
Clean Energy Innovation
6100 Royalmount Avenue
Montreal, Quebec H4P 2R2
Preferred language: English
Other(s): Punjabi, Hindi, French
Telephone: 514-496-3125

Expertise

Earth Sciences, Tailing, Energy, Biofuel, Environment, Climate, Pollution & Waste, Industrial, Minerals and Metals, Waste Management, Technology, Microbiology