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Greenhouse gas research receives funding support


Ottawa, ON – The federal government last week announced funding for the development of Innoventures Canada’s (I-CAN) Centre for the Conversion of Carbon Dioxide (CO2).

One of I-CAN’s goals is to develop practical technologies that will remove 100 million tonnes of CO2, and has identified the capture and conversion of industrial sources of CO2 into microalgae biomass as an innovative approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The technology would take captured CO2 and put it into microalgae ponds, which enhances rapid microalgae growth. The resulting biomass can then be converted into valuable products including natural gas, hydrogen, bio-fuels, nutraceuticals, chemicals and fertilizers.

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is contributing $100,000 to the first phase of the project, which involves research and development to support a business case for a demonstration pilot. The second phase will involve laboratory and field pilot demonstrations, and the final phase scales up the technology to a near-commercial facility in 2010.

“By bringing together a critical mass of expertise from across Canada, I-CAN is the right vehicle to tackle large, complex projects to help Canada’s economy innovate, grow and prosper,” said John McDougall, president and CEO of the Alberta Research Council and chairman of I-CAN.

The Centre for the Conversion of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) involves four research organizations: the Alberta Research Council, the Saskatchewan Research Council, Manitoba’s Industrial Technology Centre and the Quebec industrial research centre (Centre de recherche industrielle du Quebec). Funding partners on this project include Shell Canada Limited, EPCOR Utilities, Graymont, NRCan and the Alberta government.