June 18, 2007

Study probes use of barley in biofuels industry

OLDS, ALTA-The Biofuels Opportunities for Producers Initiative (BOPI) is providing $262,000 for a project to evaluate the potential use of barley in Canada's biofuels industry. The three-phase Barley and Bioproducts Opportunities Project (BBOP) is being funded and managed by the Western Barley Growers Association and the Alberta Barley Commission. Additional support for the BBOP is coming from industry partners Syngenta ($45,000), Ceapro ($10,000), Wilbur-Ellis Canada ($2,000) and Parkland Agri Services ($1,000). The project will invest a total of $380,000 to examining the feasibility of using barley in a number of emerging applications. Specifically, researchers will study the opportunities and challenges growers would face in establishing regional, barley-based ethanol production facilities. The study will also look at removing valuable fractions from barley prior to ethanol production and using distilled grains (a byproduct of barley ethanol production) for commercial purposes, including cattle feed. The first part of the project will seek to determine the relative competitiveness of barley versus other major crops, by analyzing ethanol yield and the amounts of starch and sugar that can and can't be extracted. The study's initial findings will be reported in September 2007, with a final report expected in March 2008. More information is available on-line at www.albertabarley.com.

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