Canadian Biomass Magazine

Students create survey to understand challenges facing biomass production

March 8, 2021
By Mahtab Nazari, Mohammad Antar, Dongmei Lyu, Ateeq Shah, Xiaomin Zhou, Donald L. Smith

Examples of agricultural biomass resources produced by the researchers. A: Canola, B: Corn, C: Switchgrass, D: Wheat. Photos provided by M. Nazari and M. Antar

Renewable and sustainable agricultural biomass resources in Canada have the potential to become a uniquely sustainable source of biologically derived compounds, materials, energy and fuels. However, there are still some significant challenges to the effective and efficient utilization of biomass. Attitudes to biomass production vary among nations and jurisdictions, in part based on the availability of related resources.

To enhance our understanding of the perceived challenges facing biomass production, a group of graduate students at McGill University are conducting a survey, with the support of BioFuelNet, including general and specific questions, mainly related to climate change, sustainable technologies and basic biomass production. This survey focuses specifically on legislators and policy makers, researchers, industry personnel and crop producers.

The main objectives of this survey are to: 1) improve overall awareness and perception of climate change, sustainability technologies, the bioeconomy and related biomass production; 2) collect insightful feedback and suggestions regarding the promotion of current and future biomass production; 3) identify the current challenges faced by those involved in biomass production and mechanisms to assist them in resolving these challenges.

We will analyze and interpret the very valuable information supplied in order to address the objectives above and to assist in development of the Canadian bioeconomy and the biomass required to support it. To maximize the impact, the outputs will be shared on other platforms.


If you are a farmer/producer, please use the link below:

Biomass Survey – Questions for Farmers

If you are working in biomass related industries and businesses, please use the link below:

Biomass Survey – Questions for Industries/Businesses

If you are a researcher, please use the link below:

Biomass Survey – Questions for Researchers

If you are a policy maker and/or legislator, please use the link below:

Biomass Survey – Questions for Policy Makers and Legislators

Your responses will make a difference and we truly value the information you provide.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at the following email addresses:

The students involved in developing the associated survey are all from the Smith laboratory, in the Plant Science Department of McGill University. Collectively, we work on aspects of plant-microbe interactions related to improving crop productivity, with a particular view to crop biomass production (biomass/energy crops, residues of food crops). The microbes and microbe-to-plant signal compounds we often work on enhance crop growth, particularly under conditions of abiotic stress, potentially leading to development of climate change resilient crop production (an adaptation approach) and allowing production of greater amounts of biomass for the bioeconomy, including the production of biofuels, leading to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (a mitigation approach).  It is our great hope that our overall efforts will help diminish the threat climate change poses for the future.

Mahtab Nazari (a), Mohammad Antar (a), Dongmei Lyu (a), Ateeq Shah (a), Xiaomin Zhou (a,b), Donald L. Smith (a)

(a): Department of Plant Science, McGill University, QC

(b): BiofuelNet Canada Network, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC

Print this page


Stories continue below