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National research program targets bioenergy systems

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) has launched its Bioenergy Systems for Viable Stationary Applications research program to help industry capitalize on market opportunities for the production of energy from biomass. NRC has...


October 10, 2013
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) has launched its Bioenergy Systems for Viable Stationary Applications research program to help industry capitalize on market opportunities for the production of energy from biomass. NRC has established a multi-year, strategic R&D initiative to help Canadian companies capitalize on this opportunity by overcoming the technical and cost barriers to integrating locally-sourced biomass into stationary energy (heat and power) systems.

The program was launched during the 2013 CanBio annual conference and trade show.

“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.”

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The NRC bioenergy program will channel a critical mass of expertise into projects to optimize biofuel production and upgrading, and resolve biofuel-power plant compatibility issues, lowering the capital and operating costs for bioenergy systems and components. These activities will be complemented by technical support for codes and standards and techno-economic expertise to help clients from the project design and feasibility stage, to development, integration, testing and demonstration in the field.

Co-investment of industry and other stakeholders along the value chain — feedstock suppliers, technology providers, power plant original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), system integrators, utilities and other end-users — will ensure the program delivers integrated solutions to end-users within relevant deployment timelines. This will bring estimated economic benefits of over $800 million in targeted stationary markets over the next decade, expanding export opportunities for Canadian companies while keeping energy costs affordable for consumers.

The targeted industries for this R&D program include: forestry, agriculture, mining, oil and gas, municipal solid waste, utilities, systems integrators (defense, aerospace, engineering), power plant equipment manufacturers and suppliers (gas turbines, reciprocating engines, combined heat and power units), bioenergy technology developers (anaerobic digestion, gasification, pyrolysis, torrefaction).

In addition to a core multidisciplinary team of some 40 researchers based in Ottawa, Vancouver and Montreal, clients and collaborators also have ready access to all of NRC’s world class staff and facilities conveniently located at sites across the country.