Western Economic Diversification Canada

Western Economic Diversification Canada

December 02, 2011 14:00 ET

Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan Strengthen Bio-extraction Industry

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Dec. 2, 2011) - New solvent-recovery equipment being installed at POS Bio- Sciences will improve its capacity to help Canadian industry and international clients bring new bio-based oil ingredients to market with reduced research costs and environmental impact. POS's clients from the cosmetics, nutraceuticals, food supplement and bio-fuels industries are eager to begin trials using this new equipment.

The Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, and the Honourable Ken Cheveldayoff, Minister of First Nations and Métis Relations, on behalf of the Honourable Jeremy Harrison, Saskatchewan Minister of Enterprise and Minister Responsible for Trade, announced a shared investment of $261,000 to purchase and install solvent-recovery equipment at POS Bio-Sciences which will achieve more cost-effective extraction processes for oils, proteins, and bio-mass by reducing water and solvent usage.

"The Government of Canada is working to provide the technology and resources Canadian companies require to expand and create more jobs," said Minister Yelich. "Targeted investments for industry-related research and development will improve business productivity and enhance Canada's economic competitiveness."

"The support we are providing to POS Bio-Sciences is part of our commitment to build on our knowledge economy by making Saskatchewan a destination for researchers and research companies looking to do business," said Minister Cheveldayoff. "Saskatchewan has an established track record of joining applied sciences service to various industries, using cost effective, cutting edge technology to produce reliable results."

The federal and provincial governments are each contributing $130,500 through the Canada-Saskatchewan Western Economic Partnership Agreement (WEPA) to the equipment purchase and installation. POS Bio-Sciences is providing the balance of the project funding which totals $440,000.

POS Bio-Sciences will purchase and install a custom-designed, explosion-proof solvent condenser along with two storage tanks and a chiller system tailored to POS specifications for biomass and microalgae extraction. Installation is expected to be complete in summer 2012.

Solvents in the bio-extraction process are costly, challenging a company's ability to achieve price point competitiveness. POS's new equipment will minimize the amount of solvent required in the extraction process, thereby reducing production costs and increasing the profitability of product development.

"This equipment will be of great interest to a broad spectrum of companies in both food and non-food industries, predominantly those with an interest in extraction of biomass such as microalgae, yeast, and bacteria," says Dale Kelly, POS President & CEO. "The extraction technology for biomass is in its very early stages and its potential spans far beyond the early identified uses, into the future."

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POS Solvent Recovery Equipment Facts

  • A solvent recovery system consisting of a solvent condenser, tanks, and chiller system is being installed at POS Bio-Sciences with funding assistance from the Canada-Saskatchewan Western Economic Partnership Agreement.
  • The equipment will be installed at POS Bio-Sciences in the summer of 2012.
  • The custom-designed solvent recovery equipment is a Compabloc Condenser manufactured by Alfa Laval. The chiller system is manufactured by Trane.
  • The equipment will be used in the processing of algae and yeast-based biomass as well as plant extracts, for the development of food and non-food oils such as biofuels and nutraceutical ingredients. Other applications will include ingredients for cosmetics and dietary supplements.
  • The equipment will help clients achieve greater competitiveness by reducing the use of costly processing solvents. For example, when processing omega 3 enriched oil for dietary supplements, clients could realize a 10% cost reduction during production. When processing biofuels, clients would save approximately 15% of production costs.
  • The equipment will also provide POS clients with key decision-making data regarding commercial viability of production, further enabling market entry with a competitive price point.

  • POS Bio-Sciences is receiving $261,000 in funding assistance from the Canada-Saskatchewan Western Economic Partnership Agreement, towards the purchase of a solvent condenser and a chiller system to increase POS's capacity for solvent recovery.

  • POS Bio-Sciences will contribute in excess of $100,000 cash towards the equipment cost, and $75,000 - $100,000 in-kind (salaries of POS employees for installation done in-house).

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