Wood products giant Domtar is teaming up with the world's largest research and development institute to convert waste wood into a green fuel additive.
In an April 10 release, Domtar and Battelle announced they are teaming up to develop a “unique, cost-effective system that if successful, will increase operational efficiencies and create a fossil fuel alternative for transportation fuels.”
The announcement was made at Domtar's mill in Dryden, which will be the test bed for this cutting edge $14-million research project.
CRIBE, a Thunder Bay-based forestry innovation centre, said it is investing up to $6 million in leverage funding toward the partnership project.
The system involves a 'fast pyrolysis' technology, a process that rapidly converts biomass using heat without oxygen to produce crude bio-oil and gas.
The key is in the treatment and processing of this crude bio-oil to a “drop-in fuel”, which can be blended directly with gasoline or diesel fuel.
Domtar Dryden will use wood waste, which is currently burned, as the biomass feedstock for the process. If successful, the bio-oil will be used to blend into the fuel for Domtar’s vehicle fleet or it could be used internally to offset the use of natural gas.
It's a two-phase project that involves utilizing wood waste from Domtar’s Dryden mill to produce the higher value bio-oil. Once this process is optimized and results are there, the next phase involves the construction of a 100 ton per day on the mill site.
“This project is a tremendous opportunity for forestry operations,” said Lorne Morrow, CEO for CRIBE. “Having such a prominent international R&D company working on one of our projects is a huge win for CRIBE and northern Ontario as a whole.”
“We are pleased with this opportunity to help develop, demonstrate and commercialize this innovative technology,” said Bruno Marcoccia, director of research and development at Domtar. “It will be good news for everyone if we are successful.”
“We’re pleased to be partnering with CRIBE and Domtar on this exciting project,” said Batelle's Charles Lucius, the vice president for energy sustainability solutions. “This is our first time working on this type of project in Ontario and we are really looking forward to it.”