Franco Berruti, professor in the department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at London’s Western University, is being honoured with the Kalev Pugi Award in April 2014. In 2008, Dr. Berruti, citing his personal focus on sustainability issues, stepped down as Dean of Engineering to create, with his colleague Briens, the Institute for Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources (ICFAR) at Western, of which he is the founding Director.
ICFAR’s Research & Development is in the production of renewable fuels and chemicals, heavy oil conversion and sustainable technologies. The Institute works closely with many industry partners and government agencies, nationally and internationally, with the objective of bringing technologies to market. Franco leads the Canadian Integrated Pyrolysis Platform of the BioFuelNet Network of Centres of Excellence, which focuses on the conversion of residues into biofuels and bioproducts. Special partnerships include Ontario’s Bioindustrial Innovation Centre, FPInnovations, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and Natural Resources Canada.
Earlier in his career, Berruti was instrumental in creating a spin-off company, Agri-Therm Inc., to commercialise the energy-efficient, mobile pyrolysis equipment used to process biomass into bio-products that he and Briens developed.