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Lafarge Canada and Diacarbon Energy receive funding for new torrefaction project

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World Cement,

BC Bioenergy Network (BCBN) has announced its intention to provide US$1 million in funding for Diacarbon Energy Inc’s torrefaction bioreactor technology. Diacarbon will produce a renewable and sustainable biocoal derived from wood residuals that will replace coal used by Lafarge Canada’s cement operations in BC. 

The funding by BCBN follows an investment of US$1.1 million by Sustainable Development Technology Canada and US$7 million recently committed by private sector investors and other funders, resulting in a total project investment of US$9 million. The pilot deployment follows a consortium agreement reached with Lafarge Canada announced earlier this year. 

The project involves the establishment of a fully automated torrefaction facility, which will process wood residuals and demonstrate the production of biomass-based solid fuels to replace coal at cement plants or coal-fired utilities. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants as a result of fuel switching from this 25 000 tpa plant is equivalent to approximately 52 500 tpa of carbon dioxide, or 10 500 diesel or gasoline fossil fueled cars off the roads in BC. Torrefaction, the process of heating biomass materials at elevated temperatures in the absence of oxygen, results in transforming wood into a material possessing the energy value and processing characteristics of coal, with a significantly lower carbon footprint. This technology can achieve these benefits cost effectively. The new plant will demonstrate the commercial viability of the technology and product under competitive market conditions.

“Pursuing these sorts of innovative, clean energy solutions supports British Columbia’s position as a global leader in the clean tech sector,” said Mary Polak, Environment Minister. “I congratulate Diacarbon in its commercial demonstration of this sustainable fuel.”

Michael Weedon also commented: “The time for commercial torrefaction production has arrived in BC. We are excited to be part of implementing an innovative technology that will create next generation renewable solid fuels in BC. These fuels are based on using wood residuals from existing forestry operations and will serve to strengthen the overall industry, create more jobs and utilise sustainable resources to replace high carbon emission fossil fuels.”

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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