August 29, 2005

TPC investment supports Magellan's biofuel-powered turbine engine project

Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC) is investing $2.3 million to develop innovative greenhouse gas and waste reduction technology. The funding is part of a $6.9 million research and development project being undertaken by Magellan Aerospace, in Mississauga, Ontario, to develop biofuel-powered industrial gas turbine engines.

TPC's participation will allow Magellan to enhance the application potential and commercial prospects of its bio-oil-powered turbine engine. By leveraging research and development work completed to date, the company plans to expand the range of potential liquid and gaseous biofuel sources and improve turbine operating characteristics.

Magellan Aerospace designs, engineers and manufactures aeroengine and aerostructure components for aerospace markets, advanced products for military and space markets, and complementary specialty products. It is the first company in the world to successfully burn liquid bio-oil in a commercial-scale industrial gas turbine-powered electrical generator.

Magellan's proposed approach will adapt the turbine so that it can be powered by a broad range of biofuels derived from biomass gasification, liquid pyrolysis fuels, non-edible oils, animal fats, and external burning.

This initiative will not only broaden the sources of potential biomass feedstocks, it will provide a disposal option for clients who currently produce large quantities of biomass waste. By making available a commercially viable means of producing energy derived from a variety of agricultural and other biomass waste, this technology stands to contribute significantly towards ensuring sustainable energy sources for developing nations, all of which possess biomass resources, but few of which actually produce conventional petroleum or natural gas.

Moreover, there is a compelling case for producing power using locally available waste streams, particularly in markets where the cost of electricity is high and biomass is readily available. Research and development activities are anticipated to produce a more flexible biomass conversion system while dramatically improving the power output, efficiency, and emissions levels of existing pyrolysis-based fuels burning turbine systems.

TPC's involvement in this project will support a Canadian technology with the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions substantially and promote sustainable development. It will also offer Magellan a chance to diversify beyond its traditional markets by further expanding into new industrial applications, such as heat and electricity cogeneration.

TPC works in partnership with innovative companies across Canada, sharing the cost of private-sector technology development projects in the fields of environment, aerospace and defence, and information and communications, as well as enabling technologies such as biotechnology. In so doing, TPC acts as a key instrument for advancing research and development toward commercialization.

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