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B.C. wood-to-energy among projects getting CICE funding

Funding to help commercialize projects that turn wood to higher value products, energy
Waste wood like this -- used to make wood pellets for energy -- could also be used for other higher valued added products. | Nelson Bennett

Several pilot projects aimed at using wood waste to produce energy, or reduce emissions are getting $2.6 million in funding from the B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE).

Among the projects to receive funding is a partnership between Arbios Biotech, Canfor Corp. (TSX:CFP), and the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation to use wood waste to produce a carbon neutral aviation fuel.

Deadwood Innovations will receive funding to advance a thermo-chemical fiber upgrading process it developed, which takes low-quality and damaged timber and turns it into a “high-value, commercial wood product with enhanced strength, stability, and hardness.”

“This non-dilutive funding will fast-track the commercialization and scaling of solutions across the entire forest residue management value chain, including collection, transportation, processing and end-use,” the CICE said in a news release.

Other projects receiving funding include FPInnovations, Tycrop Trailers, West Fraser Timber Co. (TSX:WFG), and Lhoosk’uz Dene Nation, which are jointly working on a “novel hybrid electric configuration combining existing forest sector trucks with a newly developed electrical trailer to reduce fuel use, GHG emissions, the cost of operation, and recover more fibre;

Innovatree Carbon Group is getting funding for a project that replaces peat moss with biochar for growing tree seedlings in drought-prone and wildfire-damaged landscapes.

“Biochar derived from wood waste excels at retaining moisture and nutrients, and is considered one of the most effective carbon sequestering materials on the planet,” the CICE news release states.

“This will help get more forest residue that would have previously gone to waste, in the hands of manufacturers,” said B.C. Forests Minister Bruce Ralston. “Actions like this show all of us that organizations like CICE are walking the walk when it comes to building a greener, more sustainable and resilient British Columbia for generations to come.”

The CICE was established two years ago with $105 million in funding from Shell Canada, and B.C. and federal governments to help B.C. cleantech companies get to commercialization in five main areas: carbon capture and use or storage, hydrogen production, use and distribution, biofuels and synthetic fuels, renewable natural gas, and battery technology, storage and energy management.

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