BIOMASS update PINNACLE BUILDING 475K-TONNE PELLET PLANT IN ENTWISTLE Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. will be constructing an $85-million, 475,000-tonne wood pellet plant in the hamlet of Entwistle, Alta. Parkland County officially announced the green light for the project in early May. “We are thrilled to welcome Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. to Parkland County and the Hamlet of Entwistle,” Mayor Rod Shaigec said in a news release. “The positive economic impact this investment will have on our community is tremendous. We look forward to a long-term relationship with Pinnacle.” B.C.-based Pinnacle is the second largest pellet producer in the world with seven pellet plants throughout B.C., producing more than 1.5 million tonnes annually. The project will be Pinnacle’s first plant outside of B.C. The plant will produce premium pellet fuel from local hardwood and softwood residuals, primarily shavings, bark, harvest residuals and sawdust. Construction for the plant is expected to begin shortly with the goal of being operational by spring 2018. The site is approximately one kilometre east of downtown Entwistle with access to the Canadian National Rail line. The pellet plant is expected to create approximately 70 full-time positions. NASA STUDY CONFIRMS BIOFUELS REDUCE JET ENGINE POLLUTION Using biofuels to help power jet engines reduces particle emissions in their exhaust by as much as 50 to 70 per cent, according to a study led by NASA. The findings are the result of a co-operative international research program led by NASA and involving agencies from Germany and Canada, and are detailed in a study published in the journal Nature. During flight tests in 2013 and 2014 near NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., data was collected on the effects of alternative fuels on engine performance, emissions and aircraft-generated contrails at altitudes flown by commercial airliners. The tests involved flying NASA’s workhorse DC-8 as high as 40,000 feet while its four engines burned a 50-50 blend of aviation fuel and a renewable alternative fuel of hydro processed esters and fatty acids produced from camelina plant oil. A trio of research aircraft took turns flying behind the DC-8 at distances ranging from 300 feet to more than 20 miles to take measurements on emissions and study contrail formation as the different fuels were burned. “This was the first time we have quantified the amount of soot particles emitted by jet engines while burning a 50-50 blend of biofuel in flight,” said Rich Moore, lead author of the Nature report. The trailing aircraft included NASA’s HU-25C Guardian jet based at Langley, a Falcon 20-E5 jet owned by the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and a CT-133 jet provided by the National Research Council of Canada. • Forge Hydrocarbons to build biodiesel plant in Sombra Edmonton’s Forge Hydrocarbons will begin construction of a $25-million biodiesel manufacturing plant at a BIOX Corporation site near Sombra, Ont., as early as this fall. The startup company received a $4.2-million grant from Sustainable Development Technology Canada last year to help build the plant. Forge’s pilot plant in Edmonton converts low-value fats and oils into hydrocarbon, a process that was invented 12 years ago by David Bressler, director of the Biorefining Conversions Network in the University of Alberta’s faculty of agricultural, life and environmental sciences. A U of A news article reports that once the manufacturing plant is built it will produce renewable liquid hydrocarbons at a capacity of 19 million litres annually, a significant increase over the 200,000 litres per year that have been produced at Forge’s Edmonton pilot plant. “The transition from benchtop to commercial reality was only possible due to a close partnership and the leadership of the on-site Forge team through the pilot trials with the support of the City of Edmonton and the Alberta Innovates system,” says Bressler, who is a partner and the lead scientific adviser for Forge. BC ISSUES ENERKEM ETHANOL LOWEST CARBON INTENSITY VALUE EVER Enerkem Inc. has received the lowest carbon intensity value ever issued by the British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines for its ethanol product under the Renewable and Low Carbon Fuel Requirements Regulation. The confirmed carbon intensity of Enerkem’s waste-based ethanol is set at -55 gCO2e/MJ. As a comparison, gasoline has an intensity of +88 gCO2e/MJ. This approval under the British Columbia Renewable and Low Carbon Fuel Requirements Regulation opens up the door for Enerkem to sell its advanced ethanol in the province, in addition to the local Alberta market where its world’s first full-scale facility in operation is located. “We are thrilled to be recognized for having the lowest carbon transportation fuel solution ever approved by B.C. under its Low Carbon Fuel Regulation,” says Vincent Chornet, president and chief executive officer of Enerkem. “This clearly demonstrates Enerkem’s clean technology and advanced biofuels provide significant greenhouse gas emission reductions. With the worldwide adoption of Renewable and Low Carbon Fuel Standards and the move toward a low carbon global economy, we look forward to working with other jurisdictions in helping them meet their greenhouse gas targets.” The British Columbia Renewable and Low Carbon Fuel Requirements Regulation was introduced to reduce reliance on non-renewable fuels and the environmental impact of transportation fuels. Under this requirement, fuel suppliers must progressively decrease the average carbon intensity of their fuels by 10 per cent by 2020 relative to 2010. Enerkem’s proprietary technology decreases greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by producing low carbon fuels that displace a portion of the gasoline used to fuel cars. Moreover, by using non-recyclable, non-compostable household waste – otherwise destined to landfills – and converting this waste feedstock into advanced biofuels, it also avoids methane emissions from landfills. Carbon intensity is the measure of GHG emissions associated with producing and consuming a transportation fuel, measured in grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per megajoule of energy (gCO2e/MJ). It accounts for the GHG emissions associated with extracting, producing, transporting, and consuming a unit of energy of transportation fuel. It is a measure of the GHG emissions from the complete life cycle assessment of a fuel. HAMILTON BIOSOLIDS PROJECT TO BEGIN CONSTRUCTION THIS SUMMER Bird Construction, as part of the Harbour City Solutions consortium, executed a contract on March 28, 2017 to design, build, finance, operate and maintain a biosolids management facility for the City of Hamilton, Ont. On Jan. 30, 2017, the company announced that it was part of the consortium named preferred proponent for the project. The consortium has since achieved financial close. The facility will use a thermal drying process to produce pellets, which will be used as fertilizer or fuel. The plant will process up to 60,000 wet tonnes per year of biosolids over the 30-year term of the contract. Bird expects to start site preparation this summer with full construction commencing shortly thereafter. The facility is expected to be operational in the spring of 2020. • G4 INSIGHTS RECEIVES FEDERAL FUNDS FOR RNG PRODUCTION G4 Insights has received $800,000 from the Canadian government to build an RNG demonstration plant in Edmonton. The plant, hosted by ATCO, will allow G4 Insights to test a range of forest residues and collect operational data with the goal of developing technology to convert forestry residue into renewable natural gas (RNG) that can be distributed through Canada’s natural gas pipelines. Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr made the funding announcement today. “By investing in clean technology industries we can help them be more innovative, more competitive and more successful,” Carr said in a news release. Edson Ng, principal for G4 Insights Inc., said the funding support will help the company forge a path for greenhouse gas reductions that are affordable, reliable and sustainable. “This project will advance G4 technology toward commercialization through field trials of enhanced subsystems for robust continuous operation and grid injection,” Ng said. G4 Insights is partnering with the Canadian Gas Association members Enbridge Gas Distribution, FortisBC, Gaz Metro, Union Gas, utility host ATCO, the Natural Gas Innovation Fund, Alberta Innovates, and FPInnovations, who are contributing a combined $1.35 million towards the RNG project. Timothy Egan, president and CEO of the Canadian Gas Association, said the project will support the industry’s aspirational target of blending 10 per cent RNG in the Canadian natural gas distribution system by 2030. Pierre Lapointe, president and CEO of FPInnovations, said he looks forward to RNG becoming a viable renewable energy source in the future. “This project demonstrates the importance of bringing together scientific expertise, industrial sector know-how and government support to solve the challenges of creating a clean tech economy,” he said. “ATCO is excited to host and sponsor G4 in Edmonton. RNG is a largely untapped renewable resource that Canadians can use to heat and power their homes and businesses using a carbon-neutral fuel. ATCO is supportive of RNG as a technology and is hopeful that their support will help accelerate the adoption of RNG in Alberta and commercialization of the G4 technology,” said Dean Reeve, senior vice-president and general manager, gas distribution, for ATCO Pipelines & Liquids Global Business Unit.
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