The Climate Leadership Plan released by the Government of Alberta in November 2015 aims to accelerate the transition from coal to renewable electricity sources, put a price on carbon pollution and set emissions limits for oil sands.
In January 2016, Biomass and Bioenergy Research Group (BBRG) held a meeting at the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department. Delegates from BBRG, Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC), FPInnovations,BioFuelNet, BC Bioenergy Network and the Wood Pellet Sector came together to discuss the ways to introduce biomass as a sustainable and renewable fuel source to decarbonize the power generation in Alberta. Subsequently, a one-day Biomass Cofiring Workshop took place in Edmonton. The overall objective of the workshop was set to address one single question “Why cofiring biomass with coal is a viable option to reduce the carbon intensity of coal-fired power plants in Alberta?” To this end, WPAC teamed up with BBRG and Canadian Biomass Magazine to organize the workshop. Over 125 delegates from power generators, biomass producers, sawmills, public and private forest managers, engineering companies, universities, and government came together on May 4th, 2016, to engage in a discussion on biomass cofiring in Alberta. This workshop was sponsored by BioFuelNet, Canadian Clean Power Coalition, Premium Pellet Ltd., Alberta Innovates-BioSolutions and NSERC.
Experts from various organizations covered different aspects of biomass cofiring opportunity in Alberta. UBC’s BBRG members, Dr. Shahab Sokhansanj, Dr. Mahmood Ebadian, Dr. Fahimeh Yazdanpanah and Ryan Jacobson, Ph.D. student presented the results of their research on “logistics of supplying wood pellets to coal-fired power plants in Alberta”. Their research sheds some light on woody biomass availability in Alberta and British Columbia, logistics scenarios to supply woody biomass from forest stands to the gate of the coal power plants, the logistics costs and modification costs of the power plants, and the number of potential employment created across the supply chain.
The message at the end of the workshop was clear: cofiring forest biomass with coal is a technically and commercially viable option to combat the climate change in Alberta. However, more collective and prompt efforts are required among different stakeholders to put biomass cofiring on the government’s agenda as a viable option to phase out coal in Alberta.
The Advanced Biofuels Symposium (ABS) is the largest annual biofuels meeting in Canada.
This 3-day ABS 2016 event showcased BFN innovation, provided a forum for sharing best practices, and offered an opportunity to share information about advances outside BFN.
The ABS enables BFN leadership to hold closed-door sessions where new opportunities for collaboration are identified. The ABS is also an important social event that encourages team building and strengthens the biofuels community in Canada.
This Symposium brings together multi-disciplinary experts in the energy field, including top researchers, industry leaders and innovators from many sectors, to discuss key issues related to the development of a thriving advanced biofuels industry. This annual event also enhances coordination of research efforts in Canada, and fosters new ideas for research, collaboration and business development, in order to pave a sustainable path toward the commercialization of advanced biofuels.
ABS 2016 Highlights
The Biomass and Bioenergy Research Group (BBRG) will be hosting the workshops. Researchers across Canada, US and Europe will attend the event.
Workshop 1 (September 21, 2016)
Landscape Management and Design for Bioenergy and the Bioeconomy
Workshop participants will have the opportunity to share views and experiences and, in this way, provide a basis for identifying challenges and opportunities related to landscape management and design. A workshop outcome report is planned, which will summarize important concerns, knowledge gaps and research questions that should be followed up in subsequent activities.
Workshop 2 (September 22, 2016)
Mobilisation of Forest Biomass to Produce Bioenergy, Biofuels and Bioproducts: Challenges and Opportunities.
This event aims to bring together stakeholders from different countries to identify and discuss opportunities, challenges, best practices and knowledge gaps in the area of forest biomass mobilization for the sustainable production of bioenergy (including liquid fuels) and bioproducts. The workshop will be built around presenting real case studies concerning the deployment and the development of forest biomass supply chains. These case studies will be selected to cover a range of geographic regions, feedstocks, end-products and the maturity of project development, and a plenary discussion defining/highlighting the critical challenges, opportunities, and best practices.
The workshop will provide the material for drafting a report on best practices and recommendations for mobilization of forest biomass, to be published jointly by BioFuelNet and IEA Bioenergy.
9 top undergraduate students (years 1 through 4) from the National Institute of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM), Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India, successfully completed ‘Food Technology Summer Research Internship 2016’ during July 22-30, 2016. Dr. V. Meda, Assoc. Professor in Chemical and Biological Engineering was the lead Co-ordinator of this maiden summer internship program under the international MoU between the two institutions. One faculty member Dr. A. Upadhyay accompanied the student delegation. The summer internship was jointly supported by the University’s international office(s), graduate students (Robbarts/Tolen) in biological engineering and the Colleges of Engineering/Agriculture and Bioresources.
Dr Vijaya Raghavan, CSBE president
We would like to welcome Dr Vijaya Raghavan, professor of Bioressources Engineering Department of McGill University, as the new CSBE president!
NABEC Young engineer
Dr Jan Franklin Adamowski, associate professor of Bioressources Engineering Department, received the NABEC (Northeast Agricultural and Biological Engineering Conference) ‘Young Engineer of the Year’ award, during NABEC 2016 which was held in Orono, Maine (USA) from July 31st to August 3rd.
Dr Ramaswamy, fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
Dr Hosahalli S. Ramaswamy, professor of the Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry Department of McGill University, will be inducted as fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (The Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada), on November 18th 2016 in Kingston (Ontario). Congratulations!