July 14/21, 2003

Technology funding agency approves 2nd round of project awards worth $15.6M

In its second funding announcement, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) recently approved in principle $15.6 million for ten new projects, which in turn will be leveraged by an additional $29 million. The approvals are subject to contract negotiations.

If these technologies are successfully developed and reach the marketplace, the total contribution to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions is estimated to be 18.3 megatonnes (Mt) annually. This projection is based on self-reported estimates by the project consortia, and assumes widespread adoption of the technologies throughout the energy economy within the first Kyoto commitment period of 2008-2012.

SDTC is a $350-million investment fund established by the federal government (through Natural Resources Canada and Environment Canada) to act as the primary catalyst for the development and demonstration of innovative technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality. The Foundation began operating as an arm's-length, not-for-profit corporation in November 2001 and announced its first series of funding awards earlier this year (ELW March 31).

"The Board was heartened to see the scope of the applications in this round. Responses came from across Canada and the approved slate touches all the primary economic sectors in this country. Again we saw a predominance of requests for funding to assist with the demonstration phase of these technological solutions, confirming that SDTC's investment at this point in the innovation chain is of particular value to the clean technology community," said SDTC chairman James Stanford.

President and CEO Dr Vicky Sharpe observed that the calibre of applications was higher in this round, as a result of time spent by SDTC staff working with applicants to strengthen their proposals. "Building this clean tech capacity is as important as providing the actual funding. The results of these investments will help build a 'toolbox' of technology-based solutions that all economic sectors can access, thereby increasing their competitiveness while improving their sustainability," she said.

"SDTC selects projects, based on excellence...that, with SDTC's involvement, will have the highest likelihood of success, have significant impact on emission reductions and can provide measurable results. This national snapshot of technological innovation demonstrates an untapped capacity and demand for funding sustainable development across Canada," Sharpe added.

SDTC expects to make its third round funding announcements this fall. Listed below are the consortia (identified by the lead organization) along with a summary of the technologies approved for contract negotiation.

Lead Organization: BC Research, Vancouver. Sector: energy conversion, fuel cells.

A multi-fuel demonstration of a 5 kW solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) will investigate various aspects of this emerging energy technology in a commercial (in contrast to a laboratory) setting. Natural gas, methanol, hydrogen, propane, and heavier hydrocarbons will be combined with other proprietary technologies to optimize performance and fuel-switching capability. Heat and hot water output from the SOFC will be incorporated into the building's utility systems. The fuel cell's electricity output will be used to provide an uninterruptible power supply for on-site research laboratories. The information gained from this trial will aid the continued development of leading edge energy technology as well as the development of ancillary technologies and services required to ensure rapid and widespread market penetration of fuel cell technology.

Lead Organization: DynaMotive Energy Systems,Vancouver. Sector: renewable energy, biomass/fast pyrolysis.

This consortium will develop and demonstrate a process to generate greenhouse gas (GHG)-neutral electricity and steam from waste biomass, economically displacing brown electricity from the grid and generating GHG credits. The work will be carried out at the Erie Flooring BioOil cogeneration plant, combining BioTherm's fast pyrolysis technology with Magellan Aerospace Orenda division's OGT 2500 gas turbine. BioTherm technology rapidly heats biomass to create a gas stream that is condensed into a clean burning liquid fuel. The Orenda turbine has been developed specifically to handle BioOil, with special coatings and fuel handling systems.

Lead Organization: Enerkem Technologies, Montreal. Sector: renewable energy, biomass/gasification.

This project will demonstrate and quantify the technical and economic benefits of a developed technology to convert complex wastes (such as assorted municipal solid wastes) into biofuels (e.g. ethanol). The technology to be employed during the project integrates fluid bed gasification, synthetic gas conditioning and catalytic thermo- or bio-conversion. The project focus is to develop a socially acceptable sustainable approach to waste management centered on the "3R+C+V" hierarchy (Reduction, Re-use, Recycling, Composting and addingValue).

Lead Organization: Ensyn Technologies, Ottawa. Sector: renewable energy, biomass.

This group will conduct an industrial demonstration of a technology that efficiently converts wood and other biomass residues into electricity and natural chemicals in a sustainable, environmentally friendly manner. These bio-refinery products will replace energy and chemical products derived from fossil fuels resulting in significant greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions. These components form the basis of a sustainable energy and chemical industry that can be replicated wherever biomass resources exist and where there is a demand for the energy and chemical products resulting from the process.

Lead Organization: Highland Feeders, Vegreville, Alberta. Sector: agriculture, waste management, biomass.

This project will develop and demonstrate a process in which several existing technologies are combined to form an Integrated Manure Utilization System (IMUS). The IMUS technology is based on the concept of treating cattle manure as a resource rather than a waste in order to focus on capturing the resource value of manure, including energy, nutrients and water, and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts. IMUS is unique in that it combines biogas technology with Alberta Research Council's manure handling, nutrient recovery/enrichment, solid bio-based fertilizer production technologies. It offers an innovative, cost-effective approach to addressing social, economic and environmental issues associated with manure management.

Lead Organization: IBC Technologies, Vancouver. Sector: energy efficiency, residential combined space and water heating.

Elements of the high-effiency eKOCOMFORT(TM) combined home heating and ventilating system will be improved and reconfigured to yield a superior residential heating and ventilating system. Enhancements will be made to the condensing gas-fired heat source to expand its reach and improve its temperature control. Domestic hot water, air handling and heat recovery ventilation aspects will be more intimately integrated, with the specific goal of achieving low-intensity, highly efficient and continuous operation. Significant advancements in the home use of gas and electrical energy will deliver enhanced comfort and better quality indoor air and financial payback to users, in addition to the environmental benefits of reduced emissions.

Lead Organization: Mikro-Tek, Timmins, Ontario. Sector: agriculture, CO2 sequestration.

This project will quantify and verify a method of increasing carbon sequestration through the application of naturally-occurring soil micro-organisms know as mycorrhizal fungi. Field data will be compiled to demonstrate microbial performance for land reclamation (e.g. mine sites and highway, pipeline and transmission right-of-way corridors) and agricultural applications.

Lead Organization: Radient Technologies, Vancouver. Sector: energy utilization, industrial processes.

This project will focus on the development and demonstration of a patented family of technologies known collectively as Microwave-Assisted Processes (MAP(tm)). These technologies, developed and patented by Environment Canada, are based on the efficient use of microwave energy to enable novel biological and chemical effects to be controlled for commercial use. Specific applications include the energy-efficient extraction of valuable natural products from renewable biomass (including vegetable oils, essential oils, and natural flavours, fragrances and bioactive compounds) and the recovery of contaminants from soil and waste streams.

Lead Organization: University of New Brunswick, Fredericton. Sector: renewable energy, wind interconnection/converter.

This project will develop and demonstrate cost-effective, high-performance interconnection technologies based on power electronic converters. The consortium will work on variable-speed pump-as-turbine small hydro electric units and variable-speed wind turbines as the development platforms. It will deploy the developed technologies of wind and small hydro electric systems in the rapidly growing distributed power generation markets.

Lead Organization: Zenon Environmental, Oakville and Burlington, Ontario. Sector: industrial processes, wastewater treatment.

This project will scale up and demonstrate technology that delivers oxygen for aerobic wastewater treatment with utilization efficiencies approaching 80%. Compared with conventional aerobic treatment, Zenon's technology can achieve as much as 90% reduction in energy required for oxygen delivery. The technology is applicable to almost all wastewater sources, with excellent replication and greenhouse gas reduction potential.

More information is available from Greg Graham, vice-president, Sustainable Development Technology Canada, 613/234-6313, E-mail g.graham@sdtc.ca, Web site www.sdtc.ca.

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