BC Bioenergy Network

BC Bioenergy Network

May 11, 2011 09:00 ET

BCBN Brings Together Global Torrefaction Experts

Potentially Game-Changing Technology a Highlight of Bioenergy Conference

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 11, 2011) - The BC Bioenergy Network (BCBN) and partners discuss the latest developments in bioenergy applications, particularly related to the solid fuels and forest products sectors at a conference being held tomorrow following today's Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) 24th Annual Global Forest and Paper Industry Conference.

"The BCBN is an organization that strives to take a leadership role in establishing a world class bioenergy industry in British Columbia," said BCBN Executive Director Michael Weedon. "The forest industry is a key driver of the B.C. economy, and is therefore a critical partner in advancing sustainable forest practices integrated with renewable energy production."

A specific focus of the conference will be an in-depth examination of biomass torrefaction and the impacts this new technology might have in driving the industry forward into the next generation of bioenergy.

"Torrefaction is a potential game-changer in the industry," said Weedon. "Torrefied biomass has a very high energy density and is much more predictable from a quality control and safe handling perspective, as well as better transportation and storage to name just a few of its potential advantages over other forms of solid fuel."

Experts from North America and the European Union, including a representative from the International Panel on Climate Change, will meet tomorrow in a one-day intensive conference on bioenergy applications, technologies and biomass sustainability. The event takes place at SFU's Segal Building all day tomorrow, Thursday, May 12.

"Of particular interest will be the morning address by Ralph Sims. Professor Sims brings a highly-respected, well-balanced view of the sustainability elements of bioenergy," said Weedon. Sims is a member of the International Panel on Climate Change, which has put together a special report on renewable energy.

How the forest sector might leverage existing opportunities and product streams to enhance industry and environmental sustainability is also the subject of the Forest Products Association of Canada's (FPAC) Bioenergy Pathways Report. Catherine Cobden, Vice-President of Economics and Regulatory Affairs with FPAC, will present the report's findings, along with industry feedback to the report.

The program will also provide the latest information on the promising developments in other bioenergy technology applications being adopted by the forest products sector. Opportunities and challenges associated with project implementation as well as the view from the demand side by financiers and utilities will round out the program.


About the BC Bioenergy Network

Established in April 2008 with a $25 million grant from the B.C. government, the BC Bioenergy Network (BCBN) is an industry-led initiative that acts as a catalyst for bioenergy developments, associated economic benefits and job creation that are environmentally sustainable. BCBN is focused on improving B.C.'s competitiveness and environment through collaboration and partnerships.

The BCBN has three primary areas of focus:

  • Major capital investments
  • Capacity development
  • Education

Major Capital Investments

BCBN undertakes leveraged capital investments in technology development, product commercialization and market development. BCBN builds Collaborative Development and Demonstration Centres around its projects in order to share the economic and environmental outcomes and encourage more widespread adoption of bioenergy solutions. Following are some of the key investments made by BCBN by way of loans or grants:

Project Name/Partner Description
Biogas to Electricity, Nanaimo, Cedar Road LFG, Inc. Electricity from landfill gas
Gasifier Clean Syngas Research, Kamloops, Nexterra SystemsUltraclean syngas from woody biomass
Lignol Biochemical Demo Plant, Burnaby, Lignol Innovations Ltd. Refining biomass to ethanol and lignin
UBC Gasifier Equipment Re-commissioning, UBC Restore gasifier for collaborative R&D
Biochemical HP Lignin Research, LignolIncrease collaborative R&D in BC
CHP Demo and R&D at UBC, NexterraCombined heat and power from biomass
Organics to Synthetic Biodiesel, Nanaimo, ICC Group Liquid fuels from organic wastes
Small-Scale Anaerobic Digestion, Abbotsford, Bakerview EcoDairyHeat and power from dairy manure
Biogas Clean-up, Columbia Shuswap, FortisBCCleaning landfill gas for pipeline use
Biogas at Catalyst Paper, Crofton, Elemental Energy Biogas from waste activated sludge
Biogas from Organics, RichmondHigh solids anaerobic digestion from waste

Capacity Development

BCBN is accelerating and leading the way in supporting BC communities' goals for sustainable economic and environmental development. Capacity-building initiatives also help people acquire important skills to increase their employment prospects in this new, sustainable economy. Following are some of the key capacity building initiatives in which BCBN has been involved:

Project Name Description
Northern Bioenergy Partnership Bioenergy industry-led cluster group
ARDCORP Agri-Initiative, Abbotsford Accelerating agricultural bioenergy use
BC Forestry Climate Change Working Group Forest life-cycle carbon tracking
First Nations Remote Biomass CHP Bioenergy solutions for First Nations
Quesnel District Energy System Innovative CHP system for Quesnel
Torrefaction Pilot Plant Technology Evaluation Review of torrefaction technologies
Malcolm Knapp Biomass System, Maple Ridge Biomass heat/energy system study


BCBN supports workshops, seminars, and targeted knowledge sharing events devoted to dissemination of best-in-class global technologies and developments. BCBN also motivates and supports positive environmental actions by decision-makers and leaders in our society via engagement and education initiatives.

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