July 30, 2007

BC contributes $200K to cross-Canada GHG reduction research

VANCOUVER, BC-The British Columbia government is contributing over $200,000 toward a cross-Canada research project aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, air pollutants and reliance on fossil fuels. The Green Energy and Environmentally Friendly Chemical Technologies is a regional project involving the University of British Columbia, the University of Laval in Quebec and the University of Western Ontario. Project scientists will work with agricultural and forestry wastes that have the potential to be turned into biofuels with limited CO2 contribution to the atmosphere. In British Columbia, where enough wood waste is generated annually to supply ethanol-blended gasoline for all of western Canada, pine beetle-killed wood can be converted to bio-oil from which fuel can be extracted, lessening reliance on fossil fuels. Scientists are also looking for new ways to generate hydrogen for fuel cells while at the same time capturing CO2 emissions before they enter the atmosphere. Hydrogen-powered fuel cells run efficiently and silently, producing only water vapour as a byproduct. Currently, however, most hydrogen is made from natural gas and water, producing CO2 as well as hydrogen. Researchers are seeking methods to produce hydrogen from diesel, naptha and propane waste products and to capture CO2 at the same time.

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