Natural Resources Canada awards funding to biomass projects

By Erin Voegele | May 07, 2013

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced the government’s ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative is providing funding to 55 innovative energy projects, including several that address biomass power and thermal, biobased chemicals and biofuels. The initiative is led by Natural Resources Canada.

“Our government is positioning Canada as a global leader in the clean energy sector by supporting innovative projects across the country aimed at producing and using energy in a cleaner and more efficient way,” Harper said. “The research and development generated by the projects being announced today will also maintain and create jobs, while benefitting the environment.”

Rewards made to biomass projects include:

- $2.678 million to Lafarge Canada to demonstrate the viability of replacing up to 10 percent of the pulverized coal/petroleum coke mix used at its Bath, Ontario, facility with lower-carbon fuels, such as biomass.

- $300,000 to the University of Toronto for a bioenergy feasibility study.

- $500,000 to Yukon Energy Corp, as part of a consortium led by the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations to pursue the study of a potential biomass power plant in Haines Junction, Yukon. The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency also contributed $106,127 to the project through its Strategic Investments in Northern Economic Development program.

- $2.913 million to Enerkem Inc. to develop and demonstrate a system to convert municipal solid waste into an energy-rich gas that can fuel a combined-heat-and-power (CHP) system.

$700,275 to Nimschu Iskudow Inc. to conduct a front end engineering and design study to determine the technical and economic requirements of a proposed hybrid energy production system that employs wind, biomass and battery technologies, and to conduct an environmental assessment for a future demonstration project.

$3.25 million to Nexterra Systems Inc. to demonstrate utility-grade synthesis gas production from biomass gasification. The project will divert a small side-stream of syngas from a wood gasifier and process it to produce a 99 percent pure hydrogen gas suitable for injection into a natural gas pipeline.

- $317,813 to the BC Bioenergy Network Association to assist a remote First Nation community in switching from diesel fuel to a biomass CHP system.

- $1 million to CRB Innovations Inc. to support a project that aims to demonstrate that lignin can be isolated to produce useful products. The project includes development of a pilot-scale plant that employs catalytic technology to convert lignin into biobased jet fuel and biochemicals.

- $700,000 to Quebec Federation of Forestry Cooperatives to analyze and compare different supply chains for forest biomass used in bioenergy applications.

- $1.1 million to Enerkem Inc. to research and develop catalytic processes to convert synthesis gas from MSW into drop-in biofuels.

- $300,000 to the University of Toronto, Faculty of Forestry, to assess the availability and recovery of biomass in uneven-aged forests, including inventory data and biomass harvesting trials to develop and opportunity and supply model.

- $1.1 million to Lignol Innovations Ltd. to address technical gaps that hinder the company’s process technology, preventing the commercial-scale conversion of cellulose into advanced biofuels and biobased chemicals.