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ENERGY: Biomass burns clean

Canada's forest-products industry produces about 18 million tonnes of sawmill residue a year, of which about 6 million tonnes is incinerated or landfilled at a cost to industry. One company, DynaMotiv...


September 1, 2001
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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DynaMotive: Its 10-t/d pilot plant is producing a fuel derived from forest biomass like sawdust

Canada’s forest-products industry produces about 18 million tonnes of sawmill residue a year, of which about 6 million tonnes is incinerated or landfilled at a cost to industry. One company, DynaMotive Energy Systems Corp., Vancouver, BC, has developed an environmentally friendly technology that turns such residue into fuel while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Earlier this year DynaMotive and Canfor Ltd. signed an agreement to develop commercial applications for BioOil, a clean-burning fuel derived from biomass like wood bark, sawdust and sugar cane bagasse. The liquid fuel is produced via fast pyrolysis technology. “This technology also has the potential to provide Canfor with positive environmental benefits by helping to eliminate beehive burners currently being used to incinerate the material,” said David Emerson, president and CEO. Equally important, BioOil might serve as an alternative to natural gas to fuel Canfor’s pulp mill lime kilns and sawmill dry kilns.

A 10-tonne-per-day (t/d) pilot plant is operating in Vancouver. By 2002 or 2003, the partnership expects to operate a commercial plant, which would produce between 200 and 400 t/d of feedstock. Even a 200-t/d plant operating 330 days a year would produce 200 000 barrels of BioOil a year, equivalent to about 100 000 barrels of diesel fuel a year. Or, put another way, enough energy to power a small town of 4000 households.

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