The Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy (CRIBE) is investing $923,261 to expand Elementa Group’s pre-commercial demonstration plant in Sault Ste. Marie to use forest biomass. The current Elementa process uses municipal solid waste to produce a high-quality synthetic gas (syngas).
The funding will allow Elementa to make necessary modifications to begin using forest biomass as an additional feedstock. Converting this plant to also use forest biomass as a feedstock will demonstrate the viability of forest residue as a renewable energy source. Elementa currently employs 20 people, and the addition of forest biomass to the process is expected to create five to six direct jobs.
“Sault Ste. Marie is surrounded by an abundant supply of renewable forest biomass and residual waste. Instead of this waste counting as an overhead cost to the industry, now we can convert it into a renewable energy source,” says Frank Dottori, chair of the CRIBE Board.
“Sault Ste. Marie has a rich history in the forestry industry so it is very fitting that this city be the home of biomass innovation,” states Elementa CEO, Jay Zwierschke. “The Ontario government, through the forward thinking leaders of CRIBE, have demonstrated leadership in their support for alternative energy and technology development. We are truly delighted to partner with them as we advance forest biomass testing in Sault Ste. Marie. Elementa is preparing to showcase forest biomass waste as a new generation of our waste-to-energy technology that will re-shape the biomass industry by creating a variety of value added energy byproducts.”
CRIBE is a provincial initiative to transform the forest products industry in northern Ontario.
Source: Canadianbiomassmagazine.ca, 2011-04-28.