Lab Canada

Clean technology projects get $52M in funding

Vancouver, BC Sixteen clean technology projects are sharing a total of $52 million in funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC).

“Investing in these new innovative technologies will have a direct impact on Canada’s productivity,” said Juergen Puetter, SDTC Chair. “Supporting them will create jobs and diversify local economies while strengthening Canada’s position as a global cleantech leader.”

The projects are as follows:


1) Lead organization: Ballard Power Systems, Vancouver, BC

Project title: Zero emission fuel cell running on by-product hydrogen

Environmental benefits: Climate Change / Clean Air

Economic sector: Power Generation

Consortium members: Ballard Power Systems, ERCO Worldwide, Terasen Gas

Project Description: Ballard Power Systems is developing a MW-scale stationary fuel cell power generation platform that can be used for grid-connected or remote baseload, load following or peak shaving applications. Waste heat created by the fuel cell system can be used for district heating applications. These fuel cells will primarily be targeted at large available hydrogen sources and existing hydrogen pipelines. This technology is expected to be able to deliver electricity at approximately the cost of installing new transmission.

2) Lead organization: CORVUS Energy (CEL), Richmond, BC

Project title: Hybrid Harbour Tug Boat

Environmental benefits: Clean Air / Climate Change

Economic sector: Transportation

Consortium members: CORVUS Energy Ltd. (CEL), Ocean Group, Techsol Marine

Project description: Corvus Energy is developing novel hybrid electric marine propulsion systems for large power applications, powered by their high energy lithium ion battery systems, that will significantly improve air emissions in major ports.  The project will retrofit and field trial one harbour tug boat, which will be put into daily operation. With this technology, the size of diesel engines for marine coastal vessels could be reduced by up to 33% resulting in 30% reduction in fuel consumption and significant emission reductions.

3) Lead organization: CRB Innovations Westbury, QC

Project title: Integrated Biorefinery

Environmental benefits: Climate Change / Clean Air / Clean Soil

Economic sector: Energy Exploration and Production

Consortium members: CRB Innovations, Enerkem, Greenfield Ethanol, Groupe OrVert Ltée, Laboratoire des Technologies de l’Énergie, La COOP Fédérée, Université de Sherbrooke (Chaire industrielle en éthanol cellulosique), Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune du Québec.

Project description: An integrated and energy self-sufficient biorefinery will be built and put into operation for the production of cellulosic ethanol and co-products. The sequential fractionation process will be complemented with a novel non-enzymatic technology to hydrolyze, in high yields, cellulose into a C6 sugar solution. The demonstration project will treat 2,400 tonnes of lignocellulosic material per year and will produce about 682,000 litres of ethanol from C6 sugars and 245,000 litres of non-ethanolic biofuel derived from C5 sugars. It is expected that the success of the demonstration will be followed by implementing commercial networks, each comprising several satellite plants converting about 50,000 tonnes of biomass per year into specific intermediates which will then be upgraded in dedicated centers. The raw materials for the demonstration will comprise quasi-homogeneous biomass from forest residues, from agricultural crops and from agro-forestry plantations. Process residues will be used for the generation of heat and power to satisfy the needs of the biorefinery.

4) Lead organization: eCamion, Toronto, ON

Project title: Smart Grid Community Lithium-Ion Battery Solution for Utility Energy Storage Project

Environmental benefits: Climate Change / Clean Air

Economic sector: Power Generation

Consortium members: eCamion, Dow Kokam, Toronto Hydro Electric System, University of Toronto Centre for Applied Power Electronics (CAPE)

Project description: Electricity distribution is currently facing two main challenges: increased adoption of intermittent renewable power generation, and increased demand which will soon include plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle recharging. Embedding storage in the distribution network, at the community level, represents the most economical solution to addressing these issues while meeting the rapidly evolving demands on the grid. This project aims to integrate eCamion’s light-weight, high energy density 750kWh Li-ion battery energy storage system  using Dow Kokam’s proven lithium ion technology into Toronto Hydro’s existing electricity power grid.  Two innovations will be demonstrated in the project: eCAMION’s battery pack design, deploying advanced lithium ion battery technology,  and CAPE’s Control, Protection and Power Management system, which will control in real time the transfer of power across multiple battery storage units to and from the grid, improving power availability and reliability while supporting microFIT renewable electricity installations. The system will be tested at Toronto Hydro’s Smart Grid Community in North York.

5) Lead organization: Echologics Engineering, Toronto, ON

Project title: Smart automated leak detection system

Environmental benefits: Clean Water/ Clean Soil / Climate Change

Economic sector: Energy Utilization

Consortium members: Echologics Engineering, American Water, City of Ottawa, Mueller Systems LLC

Project description: According to Environment Canada, up to 30% of the total water entering the country’s supply-line systems is lost to leaking pipes. This water represents not only a loss of revenue for the utilitybut also a loss of treated, quality assured and potable water. Echologics Engineering Inc. proposes to develop and demonstrate an integrated, non-intrusive acoustic leak detection system called LeakSenseRT. This system will detect leaks in any type or size of commonly used potable water pipes.  Radio transmitters using Advanced Metering Infrastructure/Automated Meter Reading (AMI/AMR) technology send acoustic sensor data to central or local sites. The technology also has the advantage of being able to detect leaks in difficult locations such as noisy urban areas, or at critical locations such as railways or major highways. Itcan be automated to turn on during the night when there is the least amount of ambient noise, thus allowing detection of even the quietest leaks that are either currently undetectable or too costly to pursue.

6) Lead organization: Fabgroups Technologies, Saint-Laurent, QC

Project title: Processing of slaughter-house waste using PASO with conversion to value-added fertilizer

Environmental benefits: Clean Soil / Climate Change / Clean Air / Clean Water

Economic sector: Waste Management

Consortium members: Fabgroups Technologies, Centre de Traitement de la Biomasse de la Montérégie

Project description: Safe and sustainable disposal of residual animal waste is a growing issue in Canada as a result of challenges like high costs and strict government regulations.  Fabgroups Technologies Inc. (FTI) will demonstrate a high efficiency Plasma-Assisted Sludge Oxidation (PASO) technology to effectively destroy animal waste and sludge, carcasses and specified risk material. PASO is based on a rotary kiln operating at slightly below atmospheric pressure and equipped with an air plasma non-transferred arc torch. The process will destroy the animal waste and also produce an inert ash that meets the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s regulations for fertilizer, while at the same time recycling the thermal energy it produces, resulting in substantial energy savings. FTI’s intent is to build regional plants, avoid land filling and be cost competitive with current disposal methods.

7) Lead organization: FibraCast, Ancaster, ON

Project title: FibraCast

Environmental benefits: Clean Water / Climate Change

Economic sector: Energy Utilization

Consortium members: FibraCast, Alpha Plan, ANAERGIA

Project description: The use of membrane technology for water treatment, although it has evolved considerably since the 1960s, continues to be limited by cost, efficiency (packing density) and operational challenges (cleaning). FibraCast has developed a membrane manufacturing technology that creates tubular membrane panels which combine the high packing density and back-washable characteristics of hollow fibres with the high strength and low manufacturing cost aspects of flat sheets in a novel membrane element. It also achieves the strength and reliability of reinforced membranes at a lower cost than unreinforced hollow fibres.The FibraCast membrane panel is expected to have higher permeability, be 100 times stronger than typical hollow fibre membranes, have several times the packing density, cost less to manufacturers than the current state-of-the-art hollow fibre cassettes. This technology is expected to increase the market for membrane treatment and allow for the first commercial immersed nanofiltration product, resulting in improved efficiency and effectiveness of both domestic and international water treatment.

8) Lead organization: Mining Technologies International, Sudbury, ON

Project title: Hybrid Underground Loader

Environmental benefits: Clean Air / Climate Change

Economic sector: Energy Utilization

Consortium members: Mining Technologies International, Institut du Transport Avancé du Québec (ITAQ), Natural Resources Canada (CANMET-MMSL), Société de Recherche et Développement minier inc.(SOREDEM)

Project description: Canada’s mining industry is currently experiencing a number of challenges related to declining reserves, environmental issues, safety and international protectionism. The industry is increasingly focusing on green and safe technologies and requires equipment that will improve economics as well as safety conditions by reducing ventilation requirements, particularly in deeper mines. Building on previous developments, Mining Technologies International Inc. proposes to demonstrate a diesel electric hybrid technology in a medium size underground loader, and incorporate an advanced propulsion system to maximize efficiency and energy recovery with minimal exhaust emissions and reduced fuel consumption. The system will use advanced battery technology with high energy and power capabilities combined with a high efficiency drivetrain to minimize losses in the transfer of power to the wheels. This is expected to result in reduced operating costs, improved health and safety, decreased greenhouse gas emissions, improved environmental sustainability, while creating a market-leading product for a Canadian-owned mining equipment manufacturer.


9) Lead organization: NIMTech, Toronto, ON

Project title: Optimization, Monitoring and Control of Ethanol Production using SonicGaugeTM System and Multivariate Data Analysis Technologies

Environmental benefits: Climate Change / Clean Water

Economic sector: Energy Utilization

Consortium members: NIMTech, GreenField Ethanol, ProSensus

Project description: In the biofuel ethanol production process, measurement of the quality and characteristics of the mash, sugars, and ethanol against quality assurance classification references is an important step in the production process. The existing methods suffer from a lack of real time analytics, significant time lags (four to seven hours), intermittent sampling rates and a lack of exacting quality assurance capabilities. NIMTech Incorporated Has developed the SonicGaugeTM System, which can accurately and more efficiently classify the “chemical fingerprint” of the ethanol fermentation state and track the process non-invasively through the pipeline or container. The SonicGaugeTM System monitors in real-time overcoming current time lags and observability gaps that cause productivity losses and poor yields.  It is projected that the savings for a retrofitted ethanol plant will be approximately 15% in energy savings, 5% in fresh water reduction savings, 5% in GHG equivalent emission net reductions, and $1.1M in operating savings (based on an average140 ML/yr ethanol plant). This approach can also be applied to other manufacturing industries like oil and gas, water treatment, quality control, pharmaceutical and chemical.

10) Lead organization: S2G Biochemicals, Vancouver, BC

Project title: Bio-Glycol Pre-Commercial Plant

Environmental benefits: Climate Change / Clean Water

Economic sector: Energy Utilization

Consortium members: S2G Biochemicals, HTEC Hydrogen Technology & Energy Corporation, International Polyol Chemicals Inc (IPCI)

Project description: Over $15 billion worth of glycols are used each year globally in a wide array of industrial and consumer products such as antifreeze, polyester fibres, PET plastic drink containers, cosmetics and detergents. The project led by S2G Biochemicals Inc. will demonstrate “bio-glycol” production using low-cost renewable byproducts of the biofuel, agriculture and forest industries as feedstock instead of fossil fuels.  Byproduct sugars from next-generation biofuels are of particular interest as a growing source of feedstock – these include crude glycerine byproduct from biodiesel production a
nd C5/C6 sugars byproduct from cellulosic ethanol production.  The project will also incorporate industrial waste hydrogen in the conversion process.  S2G’s “Sugar-to-Glycol” process will result in lower feedstock costs, will provide equal or better margins, and will be less sensitive to feedstock price fluctuations than both fossil-based glycols and corn-based bio-glycols. The approach will improve the economics of biofuel production and the utilization of biomass resources, as well as reduce the lifecycle GHG emissions of glycols.  With this technology, S2G aims to help shift the industrial chemical industry from its traditional dependence on fossil fuels to a sustainable future based on renewable organic feedstocks.


11) Lead organization: Silinov Technologies, Quebec, QC

Project title: Silinov Project

Environmental benefits: Clean Soil / Clean Air

Economic sector: Waste Management

Consortium members: Silinov Technologies, Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Institut national d’optique, Phytronix Technologies

Project description: According to the CRU Group, over the last two years, the worldwide fibre optic cable market has grown by 22%, now reaching a production of 171 million kilometres per year. There are currently no known processes to recycle fibre optic cables and fibre optic production residues.  Silinov Technologies has demonstrated a disruptive one-step process to recover material from defective optical fibre preforms and end of life optical cables. The process converts the glassy residues into high purity materials (SiCl4 and GeCl4) that are in significant demand in the semiconductor industry. The process uses a lower temperature than existing SiCl4 GeCl4 production processes requiring 60% less energy, 75% shorter processing time and smaller capitalization costs. This project entails scaling up 100 times from the current 50gr/hr prototype. Production trials at the pilot plant scale aim to validate the design and economics of a 500t/y industrial automated plant.

12) Lead organization: SWITCH Materials, Vancouver, BC

Project title: Hybrid Electrochromic/Photochromic Smart Windows

Environmental benefits: Climate Change

Economic sector: Energy Utilization

Consortium members: SWITCH Materials, 4D Labs, PFG Glass Industries, Light House Sustainable Building Centre, Bing Thom Architects, British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)

Project description: Commercial and residential buildings in Canada are responsible for 31% of total electricity usage. SWITCH Materials developed a patented hybrid photochromic/electrochromic film for smart windows that automatically darkens when exposed to sunlight and lightens in response to an applied electric charge. This novel approach reduces heat and glare from sunlight automatically to improve comfort, while offering occupants the flexibility to reverse the tinting at will, reducing cooling loads in buildings by as much as 27%. The project will demonstrate expansion from lab-scale manual production to pilot-scale continuous manufacturing of a roll-to-roll film that can be integrated into architectural and automotive windows. A pilot run of the film process will validate manufacturing costs, assembly procedure into Insulated Glass Units and, through demonstrations in two separate buildings, provide data to confirm performance and film durability targets.

13)Lead organization: Temporal Power, Burlington, ON

Project title: Distributed Grid-Scale Energy Storage

Environmental benefits: Climate Change / Clean Air

Economic sector: Power Generation

Consortium members: Temporal Power, Hydro One Networks

Project description: Fast changes in power output from a wind farm can add megawatts of power in a matter of seconds and induce significant voltage spikes and sags. These rapid fluctuations lead to challenges in regulating voltage on distribution lines. Temporal Power Ltd. and Hydro One Networks are working to demonstrate how an innovative Canadian flywheel electricity storage technology can improve the way wind power is connected to the electricity grid. The flywheel based storage solution developed by Temporal Power will be located on the Hydro One distribution network to mitigate challenges caused by the intermittent output of power from wind farms. Temporal will use a novel low loss flywheel generator combination to deliver a 500kW power rating per unit in an array of up to 10 flywheels (i.e., up to 5 MW) that has the capacity to absorb real power for up to two minutes, and release it back to the Hydro One distribution network for the same duration. The demonstration represents one of the world’s largest wind integration projects utilizing flywheel storage technology. Temporal Power’s flywheel storage technology is expected to significantly reduce GHG emissions in Canada and in the rest of the world by 2020 by enabling further renewable projects.


14) Lead organization: Tyne Engineering, Oakville, ON

Project title: CECE Electrolyzer

Environmental benefits: Clean Water

Economic sector: Waste Management

Consortium members: Tyne Engineering, Atomic Energy Canada

Project Description:

Tyne Engineering and Atomic Energy Canada Limited (AECL) are collaborating on developing a next generation electrolyser for the nuclear industry.  This electrolyser, when combined with AECL’s proprietary catalyst technology, will increase the efficiency and economics of the current technologies used to separate hydrogen isotopes.  For CANDU reactors, this means improved upgrading and tritium removal processes for the heavy water used in the heat transport and moderator systems.  The technology also has applications for tritium removal from light water in other reactor systems.  In all cases, more effective isotope separation will add to the level of protection of the operator and the public by reducing tritium inventory. Although CECE technology (Combined Electrolysis Catalytic Exchange) is well demonstrated, the improvement that Tyne and AECL bring is the introduction of a non-corrosive non-alkali-based electrolyser.  The unit brings other advantages too, such as reduced complexity, and a smaller, less expensive tritium extraction process.   These qualities will reduce the overall cost and improve the effectiveness of safety systems in nuclear reactors, particularly CANDU reactors.

15) Lead organization: Westport Power, Vancouver, BC

Project title: Natural Gas Locomotive Demonstration

Environmental benefits: Clean Air / Climate Change

Economic sector: Transportation

Consortium members: Westport Power, Canadian National Railways Company, Gaz Metro

Project description: Roughly one fifth of Canada’s energy related greenhouse gas emissions result from industrial freight transportatio
n and emissions from this sector are increasing by roughly 13% per year. Westport is proposing to significantly improve the cost structure of rail operations while achieving criteria air contaminants emissions regulation compliance and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25% through the development of natural gas high-pressure direct injection and/or natural gas/diesel dual-fuel locomotives. Liquefied natural gas can already be delivered at a cost significantly less than diesel with targeted payback times of less than five years.  Fuel accounts for approximately 20% of the operating expenses in the railway industry. Such a decrease in cost would significantly enhance margins and cost structures for rail operators while offering greenhouse gas reductions of up to 500 tonnes per year for each natural gas locomotive relative to diesel locomotives.

16) Lead organization: Woodland Biofuels, Sarnia, ON

Project title: Biomass to Ethanol Demonstration Plant

Environmental benefits: Climate Change / Clean Water / Clean Soil

Economic sector: Forestry, Wood Products and Pulp & Paper Products

Consortium members: Woodland Biofuels, Bioindustrial Innovation Centre – University of Western Ontario Research Park

Project description: Woodland Biofuels proposes to demonstrate a fully integrated, non-enzymatic process that will convert biomass into fuel grade cellulosic ethanol using its proprietary catalytic technology. Through this project, Woodland aims to demonstrate that its technology is more cost effective than fermentation based and thermo-chemical Fisher-Tropsch (F-T) based technologies for the production of cellulosic ethanol. Using a broad range of renewable biomass materials, Woodland’s technology can produce high yields of cellulosic ethanol at a lower cost than competing technologies. The technology is expected to provide reductions in GHG, soil improvements and a significant reduction in fresh water use when compared to corn based fermentation technologies.