BC Bioenergy Network

BC Bioenergy Network

May 01, 2009 09:00 ET

BC Bioenergy Network Contributes to UBC Clean Energy Research Centre To Advance Bioenergy Research

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 1, 2009) - The BC Bioenergy Network ("BCBN"), a provincially-funded industry-led leader supporting the growing bioenergy sector in British Columbia, announced today a $100,000 investment in University of British Columbia's Clean Energy Research Centre ("CERC"). The investment will allow CERC to operationalize gasification equipment that will be made available for contract industry research and university research over the next 5 years.

This project builds on the extensive expertise and experience in gasification and related thermochemical conversion technologies at CERC. The financial support will cover the refurbishment and re-commissioning of the circulating fluidized bed gasifier which will result in a first-class local research capability. This will permit CERC to undertake commercial and academic research to leverage existing infrastructure, resources, and research capability. The BC Bioenergy Network will work with CERC to promote the utilization of these expanded facilities to industry.

"University of British Columbia's Clean Energy Research Centre has world class talent and research capabilities. We are pleased to make available to industry and academia testing capabilities for high demand research in clean and sustainable gasification technologies," stated Michael Weedon, Executive Director of the BC Bioenergy Network. "Our support to this testing facility builds on the scientific and engineering expertise at UBC's CERC and supports the further development of the bioenergy industry in BC," Weedon added.

Dr. John Grace, Acting Director of UBC's Clean Energy Research Centre and spokesperson for the biomass gasification group in the Pulp and Paper Centre and the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, stated that "the funding from the B.C. Bioenergy Network will assist UBC in upgrading our gasification facility to be world class." He went on to say that "there is widespread interest in British Columbia in making use of pine beetle kill wood and other woody biomass to decrease fossil fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions in the Province. This facility is a key tool to test different feedstocks of interest to industry."

About the BC Bioenergy Network

Established in April 2008 with a $25 million grant from the BC government, the BC Bioenergy Network is an industry-led association that acts as a catalyst for deploying near-term bioenergy technologies and organizing mission-driven research for the development and demonstration of new bioenergy technologies that are environmentally appropriate for the province of BC. Based on a recently-held focus group, BCBN identified the following technology areas requiring funding support: solid wood residues, pulp and paper residues, harvesting and pelleting, agriculture residues, municipal wastewater, municipal landfill waste, municipal solid waste, and community heating-electricity greenhouse systems. BC is well positioned to become a major player in the global bioenergy sector. The province is steward to one of the largest forested areas in the world, and a leader in biomass to value-added wood products. The BC Bioenergy Network will provide the leadership to make BC a world leader in developing and marketing wood-to-bioenergy and other bioenergy technologies. For more information about the BCBN, visit www.bcbioenergy.ca.

About the UBC Clean Energy Research Centre

CERC provides state-of-the-art research facilities in a recently-completed building for the investigation of clean energy problems and the development of environmentally-friendly solutions. Many of these facilities are unique. At the same time, CERC affiliates are actively pursuing clean-energy-related projects in several other buildings on the UBC campus. CERC intends to promote excellent research by means of collaborative research projects, seminars, shared equipment, courses and other means.

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