Canadian Biomass Magazine

Alberta pulp mill to build biogas generator

September 4, 2012
By Edmonton Journal

September 4, 2012, Edmonton, AB – The biggest private forestry company in Alberta will spend $42 million to build a biogas power generation facility onto the effluent processing stream of its pulp mill in Whitecourt.

According to the Edmonton Journal , the one-year provincial permitting process completed, construction of the anaerobic effluent processing plant at Millar Western’s pulp mill will begin in September. When it finishes in late 2013, it will provide 5.2 megawatts of power to the combined pulp and saw mill, reducing the compound’s power consumption by almost seven per cent.

“Right now we’ve got an aerobic system that we’re using to clean our effluent. This will be anaerobic, so it is a different kind of bacteria that’s used,” said Louise Riopel, spokesperson for Millar Western. When these anaerobic bacteria finally get down to business, they will convert organic material in the mill’s liquid waste into a gas which then gets purified and used to spin reciprocating engines.

“This has been used in waste-water treatment in other industries, but not in the pulp and paper sector before,” said Riopel. “It’s something new to our industry.”

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