Ontario Pursues Next Generation Of Biofuels



    McGuinty Government Supporting Innovation-Driven Economy

    TORONTO, July 3 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    The Government of Ontario is supporting the province's innovation-driven
economy by providing $7.5 million to help move two biofuel projects to the
global marketplace.
    The innovative projects represent the next generation of biofuels because
they create energy from agricultural byproducts, such as corn husks and
manure.
    Ontario is providing $5 million to support the new Institute for
Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources at the University of Western
Ontario's (UWO) (http://www.uwo.ca/) experimental field station. The
institute, together with Agri-Therm Limited (http://www.agri-therm.com/), is
working to turn agricultural byproducts into fuel and other chemicals,
including organic insecticides, pesticides and fertilizers.
    The second project will take place at Stanton Farms and is expected to
generate green energy from manure and waste water, while cutting greenhouse
gas emissions and odour. Stanton Farms will complete a new biogas
demonstration facility in collaboration with UWO, the University of Guelph
(http://www.uoguelph.ca/), and the University of Waterloo
(http://www.uwaterloo.ca/).
    The projects are part of UWO's Bioproducts Initiative and will help the
province tackle climate change and supply the global demand for more
sustainable biofuels. This investment is part of Ontario's Innovation Agenda
(http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/programs/oia/program.asp), a plan to make
innovation a driving force of the provincial economy.

    QUOTES

    "Ontario is at the forefront of developing the world's next generation of
biofuels that create energy from agricultural byproducts rather than food. For
Ontario, it is not "food or fuel" - we believe innovation is the key to "food
and fuel". We have internationally renowned researchers, savvy entrepreneurs,
and now - with the launch of Western's Bioproducts Initiative - another
world-class research institute working quickly to commercialize the ideas that
will fuel our future and our economy."
    - John Wilkinson, Minister of Research and Innovation

    "More sustainable biofuels is good news for Ontario farmers and good news
for our families. It means a cleaner, healthier environment and sustainable,
innovation-based jobs for rural Ontario."
    - MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex Maria Van Bommel

    QUICK FACTS

    
    -  Ontario produces close to 50 million tons of biomass a year, which has
       the potential to produce enough energy to meet the needs of seven
       million Ontario homes.

    -  Since 2003, the Government of Ontario has invested more than
       $600 million in research projects and companies working on green
       technologies and initiatives.

    -  The Stanton Farms biogas facility is the largest on-farm biogas
       facility currently under construction in Canada.

    -  Ontario is a global leader in biofuel research and home to companies
       that are leading the way - such as Iogen Corporation
       (http://www.iogen.ca/), which has been producing cellulose ethanol, a
       renewable biofuel for cars, at its demonstration facility in Ottawa
       since 2004.
    

    LEARN MORE

    Learn more about Ontario's Innovation Agenda
(http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/programs/oia/program.asp), part of the
province's five-point plan for the economy, which also includes skills and
training, building infrastructure, strategic tax cuts to creative investment
and partnerships with business.

    Learn more about The University of Western Ontario's Bioproducts
Initiative (http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/news/Biofuel070308_bd1.asp).

    Learn more about Ontario's Innovation Agenda and the Bioeconomy
(http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/news/Biofuel070308_bd2.asp).

    Learn more about Ontario's Next Generation of Jobs Fund
(http://www.ontariocanada.com/ontcan/en/nextgen_main_en.jsp).

    
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    BACKGROUNDER
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           ONTARIO FIELDING SOLUTIONS TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND RISING
                           GLOBAL DEMAND FOR FUEL
    

    Food and Fuel
    -------------

    Ontario is tackling climate change and turning the rising global demand
for non-petroleum and renewable carbon-based fuels into jobs and investment
for rural Ontario through its support of The University of Western Ontario's
Bioproducts Initiative.
    The province is investing $7.5 million in Western's Bioproducts
Initiative, which consists of two projects that are taking different
approaches to turn farm byproducts and waste into next generation biofuels.
    In the first project, $5 million of the funding will go towards the
creation of a new 19,000-square-foot research centre, the Institute for
Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources. The centre, to be located at
Western's experimental field station, will house facilities to test biofuel
technologies now being developed by Western researchers.
    The researchers are investigating a process called pyrolysis
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrolysis) for turning agricultural waste, such
as corn husks, into fuel for vehicles and other products, including organic
insecticides, pesticides and fertilizers. The goal of the facility is to
quickly move next generation biofuel research from the lab benches to a large
demonstration project, paving the way to get Ontario biofuel innovations to
the global marketplace - fast.
    The new Institute for Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources will
partner with an Ontario company that is already in the early stages of
bringing this technology to market: Agri-Therm Ltd.
(http://www.agri-therm.com/) of Dorchester, Ontario. A successful spin-off of
the University of Western Ontario faculty of Engineering, Agri-Therm is the
maker of a patented, portable pyrolysis unit, which is being demonstrated to
potential clients this summer.
    The institute will also house two new energy-related research chairs and
provide workspace for visiting scientists and students from Canada and abroad.
    The institute is expected to establish ties with the Sarnia-Lambton
Bioindustrial Innovation Centre
(http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/news/BioIC081407.asp) and create additional
technology transfer and commercialization opportunities. Ontario committed $10
 million to the creation of the Bioindustrial Innovation Centre last August,
to develop environmentally friendly alternatives to fossil fuels. The Sarnia
centre is expected to attract $1 billion in investment and support up to 1,000
jobs in research and engineering.

    Fuel not Waste
    --------------

    Under the second part of the Western's Bioproducts Initiative,
$2.5 million will support collaboration between Western, the University of
Guelph, the University of Waterloo and Stanton Farms to complete a new biogas
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biogas) facility at the Stanton farm in
Ilderton, Ontario. The facility will house a biodigester system that will turn
manure and waste water into energy, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions
and odour. The initial energy production capacity is expected to be enough to
power almost a third of the homes in Ilderton.
    The Stanton Farms biogas facility has also been designed to accommodate
research and to function as a demonstration project for farming and renewable
energy development. This will promote research, technology development and
commercialization in the emerging biogas industry.

    
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    BACKGROUNDER
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               Ontario's Innovation Agenda and the Bioeconomy
    

    Tackling climate change through bio-based, environmental, alternative
energy and clean technologies is one of the areas of focus under Ontario's
Innovation Agenda (http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/programs/oia/program.asp).
    Backed by close to $3 billion in spending
(http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/programs/MRI.asp) over eight years, the
agenda focuses on supporting innovation and growth in sectors where Ontario
has the research and business strengths to dominate high-growth global
markets.
    Ontario's innovation investments are focused on seizing global market
opportunities through government-academic-industry collaborations and
partnerships.
    One of the challenges faced around the globe today is how to use
renewable carbon which is found in forestry and agriculture, as opposed to
non-renewable carbon products that come from, for example, oil and gas.
    Ontario is well positioned to develop innovation solutions. The province
has a wealth of renewable carbon and the world is looking for jurisdictions
that can turn this into new fuels and new materials... and new products.

    Other investments in research and innovation in the bioeconomy also
include:

    
    -  In the March 25th budget the Finance Minister committed $25 million to
       make Thunder Bay the home of a new Centre for Research and Innovation
       in the Bioeconomy (CRIBE)
       (http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/news/CRIBE052108.asp). This centre
       will focus on the potential of forestry biomass, and it will link
       directly into the provincial bio-economy related network; which
       includes the Sarnia-Lambton Bioindustrial Innovation Centre
       (http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/news/BioIC081407.asp) and the
       Southwestern Ontario Bioproducts Innovation Network
       (http://www.sobin.ca/).
    

    These initiatives will make use of research strengths across Ontario like
the University of Toronto's Centre for Biocomposite and Biomaterial Processing
 (http://www.forestry.utoronto.ca/research/bbp/home.html) and the University
of Guelph's Centre for Bioproduct Discovery & Development
(http://www.bioproductsatguelph.ca/newsevt/cbdd_construction.html).

    The goal is to quickly move forward on a bold vision to make Ontario a
global leader in the bioeconomy.

    Talent attraction and retention
    -------------------------------

    Ontario is home to more than 45 per cent of Canada's environment firms.
Ontario's vision is that these new sophisticated centres of innovation will
attract world-class researchers to Ontario to undertake frontier research for
the next generation of forestry products, biomaterials and biofuels - and
create new opportunities and high paying jobs in Ontario.

    Government is acting as a catalyst to support and position Ontario at the
    forefront of this emerging global industry
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    Ontario is taking many bold steps to act as a catalyst for research and
innovation, as well as demonstrate leadership in the development of a
sustainable bioeconomy through a combination of regulatory action and funding
support for research and innovation.

    
    Regulatory
    -  A five per cent Ethanol Renewable Fuel Standard in 2007.

    Funding Support
    -  $15 million to the Ontario Centres of Excellence for investments in
       lightweight and biobased materials and the development of alternative
       fuels
    -  $13 million for the Regional Innovation Networks (RIN) program, with
       five RIN's specifically focused on identifying opportunities for
       commercializing bioproducts
    -  $21 million to Queens University for a regional convergence centre
       that includes a focus on bioproducts and bioprocessing
    -  $6.25 million to the Ontario BioAuto Council to develop a
       province-wide R&D and investment strategy that will make Ontario a
       leader in auto parts made from biobased materials
    -  $6 million to Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, which is building
       expertise in the bioeconomy related to the boreal forest
    -  $3 million to the University of Guelph to establish a research chair
       in bioproducts from agricultural resources
    -  $5.9 million for the Ontario BioCar Initiative to increase the use of
       biofibres and biochemicals in the auto industry
    -  $7.5 million to the University of Western Ontario to support
       interdisciplinary research into chemicals and fuels made from
       agricultural resources
    -  $25 million in the 2008 Budget to establish a Centre for Research and
       Innovation in the Bio-economy (CRIBE) in Thunder Bay, to undertake
       frontier research for the next generation of materials made from
       forestry products.

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                                                  ontario.ca/innovation-news
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For further information:

For further information: Sandra Watts, Minister's Office, (416)
314-7067; Perry Blocher, MRI Communications Branch, (416) 326-7717

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