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Bio-energy research gets $1.2M boost


Vancouver, BC – The development and commercialization of bio-energy technologies is receiving $2.8 million in funding support from Western Economic Diversification Canada.

Funding of almost $1.2 million will allow FPInnovations to conduct commercial demonstrations of a biomass gasification system at mills across Western Canada. Currently boilers in the pulp and paper sector, as well as the wider forestry industry, use natural gas to produce the steam and water necessary to make paper products. The proposed gasification system would be the first anywhere in the world to demonstrate the operation of an industrial boiler using a synthetic gas to produce paper.

The project builds on $1.7 million funding provided by Natural Resources Canada for phase one of the demonstration of this biomass gasification system for application in the pulp and paper industry. Following successful completion of construction, system optimization and performance testing over the next year, FPInnovations will engage in a strategy to share the results of its research. They will also use the project findings to look at ways to utilize this new technology in mills across Western Canada.

“We are very pleased with the support for this project,” said Jim Dangerfield, executive vice president, FPInnovations. “It will allow us to gather real-world numbers on the economics of substituting biomass for fossil fuels and, more importantly, gather life-cycle carbon emission reduction data. The Nexterra direct-fired gasification system selected for this project is a platform technology that can be used in many industrial applications. We estimate that replicating this technology at industrial sites in BC could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 200,000 tons annually by 2010.”

FPInnovations creates science-based solutions that support the global competitiveness of the Canadian forest sector. Created through the merger of Canada’s primary forest sector research institutes, FPInnovations is a not-for-profit organization employing more than 600 staff, with research laboratories and technology transfer offices throughout the country.