NRC announces bioenergy research initiative

By Erin Voegele | October 09, 2013

On Oct. 9, the National Research Council of Canada announced the launch of a new research program that aims to help industry capitalize on the market opportunities offered the production of energy from biomass. According to the NRC, the program, titled “Bioenergy Systems for Viable Stationary Applications,” is a strategic research and development initiative that is designed to help Canadian companies capitalize on the opportunity of bioenergy by overcoming technical and cost barriers associated with integrating locally-sourced biomass into stationary heat and power systems.

The initiative aims to engage companies from all segments of the value chain, from feedstock suppliers to technology providers, original equipment manufacturers and utilities. Through collaboration, the goal is to develop and deploy integrated solutions for near-term stationary markets, focusing on areas where bioenergy is cost competitive, such as remote communities and industrial operations that currently rely on diesel. Urban communities are also being targeted for the production of energy from municipal solid waste (MSW).

Information on the program released by the NRC indicates efforts will focus on four primary challenges. The initiative will seek to increase the efficiency of biomass conversion technologies, optimize processes for biofuel upgrading, and resolve power plant compatibility issues. The program will also focus on lowering the capital and operating costs associated with bioenergy systems and components.

“By connecting feedstock, technology and equipment suppliers with end-users in a large-scale, collaborative research effort, we can address interdependent biofuel production and utilization challenges,” said Andy Reynolds, general manager of the Energy, Mining and Environment portfolio at the National Research Council of Canada. “This will accelerate deployment in markets where bioenergy is cost-competitive, such as remote communities and industry reliant on expensive diesel fuel, and cities facing high municipal solid waste diversion costs.”