The agricultural industry will benefit from an investment in two B.C. projects to develop energy solutions that will also reduce agricultural waste.
"Our government's top priority remains the economy, and British Columbia's agriculture industry plays an important role in keeping it strong," said federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "This investment in new technology will help B.C. farmers improve their competitiveness as well as their environmental sustainability."
An investment totalling $289,175 under the Canada-B.C. Agri-Innovation Program will go toward two projects to explore turning agricultural waste into quality biofuels that will create new or additional revenue streams for farmers.
"B.C's new Agrifoods Strategy identifies the development of new businesses and market innovations including participation in energy and carbon efficiency, renewable energy and bioproducts development," said B.C. Minister of Agriculture Don McRae. "Projects like these demonstrate our commitment to the Agrifoods Strategy by making agriculture more environmentally sustainable as well as putting more money in the pockets of B.C. farmers."
* $142,575 for Diacarbon Energy Inc. to convert agricultural wastes such as anaerobic digestate, poultry litter and spent mushroom substrate into biocoal. Using an innovative process, they will also research the use of this biocoal as an industrial fuel and energy source.
* $146,600 for GreenScene AgriTek Inc. of Chilliwack to expand the use of its reclamation and recycling technology to create a quality biofuel from used horse bedding.
"Projects like these demonstrate the opportunity for agriculture to play a role in the development of new energy solutions and responsible environmental practices," said Peter Levelton, chair of the Investment Agriculture Foundation (IAF). "The IAF is proud to connect the B.C. agriculture sector with funding to make these kinds of partnerships in innovation possible." These investments are being provided under Growing Forward, a federal-provincial-territorial agreement.
The Canada-B.C. Agri-Innovation Program supports projects that lead to innovation and enhanced profitability and competitiveness, both on-farm and throughout the rest of the supply chain.
The program is delivered by the IAF on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture.
To learn more about the IAF, visit: http://www.iafbc.ca
Burnaby's Diacarbon Energy Inc. will explore the conversion of low-value agricultural waste such as anaerobic digestate, poultry litter and spent mushroom substrate into biocoal using an innovative process. It will also research the use of this biocoal as an industrial fuel and energy source.
Diacarbon Energy's goal is to create a new or additional revenue stream for farmers where previously, they may have incurred disposal costs.
They aim to develop a cleaner-burning fuel helping to reduce carbon emissions.
Currently, agricultural waste can be utilized in low-value applications such as fertilizer, but there is a limit to the amount that can be applied.
Conversion of this waste into marketable biofuels will mean that the waste can be sold.
GreenScene AgriTek Inc. started in Langley. Itrecently built a used horse-bedding reclaiming and recycling plant in Ladner. The byproduct created at the facility is used as animal bedding at surrounding farms. The company aims to expand the use of this recycling and reclamation technology to create a biofuel.
The goal is to develop a model for future commercialization that will take this waste product and reclaim the wood component to produce a quality biofuel that can be used in greenhouse boilers and for electricity co-generation.
Initially, the target market for their biofuel will be greenhouse operations in the Metro Vancouver/Fraser Valley area.
These facilities could save significantly on their annual heating costs. The project will support the sustainability of the equine sector by championing the use of agricultural waste as a value-added product.