Three northwestern Ontario forestry-related organization and projects were recipients of a provincial fund dedicated to finding new and innovative ways to put forest biomass to work.
This week, the province released more than $1.5 million to 15 research, innovation and modernization initiatives across Ontario to develop underutilized wood and mill waste by-products called biomass.
The money comes from Ontario’s $19.6-million Forest Biomass Program to support initiatives to harvest wood from Crown forests in the area’s of job creation, regional economic growth and finding new collaborations with stakeholders, industry and Indigenous communities.
Thunder Bay’s Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bioeconomy (CRIBE) received $100,000 for a project to convert a pulp facility into a biorefinery through the use of advanced technology to convert woody biomass into biochemicals and biomaterials.
Two Atikokan projects received a total of $150,000 for wood pellet-related initiatives.
Ontario Power Generation garnered $50,000 to study increase fuel supply at its Atikokan pellet-burning power plant to ensure the continued use of bioenergy generation during peak time of power demand.
The Wood Pellet Association of Canada netted $100,000 to identify opportunities to increase the volume and efficiency of pellet production from biomass while improving regional economies and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
The province has a five-year Forest Biomass Action Plan to encourage the use of this largely untapped resource to create sustainable jobs and regional economies in the forest sector. Woody biomass is being looked upon by the government as a source of low-carbon consumer products and renewable energy.