Canadian government funds biofuel, bioenergy projects

By Erin Voegele | April 04, 2022

The Canadian government on March 30 awarded funding to several biofuel and bioenergy projects, including those focused on liquid transportation fuels, biocarbon, renewable natural gas (RNG), and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Montreal, Quebec-based Enerkem was awarded a $5 million prize under Natural Resources Canada’s “Sky’s the Limit” program, which challenged Canadians to develop an affordable, cleaner aviation fuel. Enerkem develops and uses advanced biochemical processes to convert municipal solid waste (MSW), as well as forestry and agricultural biomass, into sustainable chemicals and advanced biofuels, including SAF.

“I’m extremely proud of the recognition we’ve received from winning ‘The Sky’s the Limit Challenge,’” said Dominique Boies, CEO and chief financial officer of Enerkem. “In order to reduce the carbon footprint of commercial aviation, we joined forces with CRB and devised a realistic approach based on recognized technologies and using our abundant forest resources in a sustainable way. This was our solution’s core strength, as confirmed by the competition’s panel.”

Natural Resource Canada awarded $4.58 million to Canfor Pulp Ltd. in Prince George, British Columbia, to execute a front-end engineering designs study to support a biomass-to-low-carbon biofuel plant that will produce transportation fuels. The project will use patented catalytic hydrothermal reactor (Cat-HTRTM) technology to covert hog fuel and other wood byproducts into low-carbon biocrude.  

ArcelorMittal Dofasco in Hamilton, Ontario, was awarded $1.85 million to demonstrate the ability to use biocarbon in an industrial blast furnace in support of future commercial technology demonstration at the ArcelorMittal Dofasco plant. The biocarbon will replace both metallurgical coke and pulverized goal to reduce the facility’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  

The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, was awarded $1.16 million to create breakthrough advances in thermochemical processes to economically produce RNG from forest residues. The project will provide technical design information for the construction of an approximately 500 gigajoule (GJ) per day demonstration plant at a British Columbia pump mill.