Canadian Biomass Magazine

Biological projects from CCEMC to benefit industry

June 3, 2013
By Canadian Biomass

June 3, 2013, Edmonton, Alta. - The Climate Change and Emissions Corporation is funding three initiatives through its Biological Greenhouse Gas Management Program that is managed on behalf of the CCEMC by Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions.

The initiatives include
optimizing small methane biofilters for controlling low volume point-source
emissions, creating activated biocarbon from wood-residue to support water
remediation in the oil sands, and a program that will help Alberta farmers
implement offset projects and improve sustainability practices.

The three projects have a
combined value of more than $1 million, and the CCEMC is committing more than
$880,000 in support.

"The CCEMC knows that there
is significant potential to reduce emissions using biological approaches," said
Kirk Andries, CCEMC managing director. "These projects will support Alberta's
efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and add to a growing body of

The first project, through
the University of Calgary, will use filters containing naturally occurring microbes
that live on methane gas to reduce low-volume methane emissions at oil and gas
field sites, landfills and livestock feedlots/sludge lagoons. It includes a
market study, pilot projects and development of a monitoring protocol to
measure biofilters performance.


While the traditional
technologies for emissions control may be economical at large-scale industrial
operations producing a substantial volume of methane – such as a sour natural
gas processing plant or a big municipal landfill, they are not economically
feasible for low-volume and low-quality point-source emissions.

Small modular biofilters may
prove to be one of the cheapest technologies currently available for
controlling low-volume, low-quality methane emissions and reduce the need for
flaring methane in oil and gas fields.

"The introduction of a novel
technology to combat low-volume methane emissions that cannot be controlled
using conventional methods will contribute immensely to achieving both Alberta
and Canada's climate change goals," says project lead, Dr. Patrick
Hettiaratchi, professor of Civil Engineering in the Schulich School of

In the second project, a new
type of biochar will be created to support water remediation in the oil sands.
The research team is working on turning aspen wood residue from logging
operations in northern Alberta into a novel type of ‘activated' adsorbing

The Third CCEMC project, led
by Prasino Group, is a study validating two protocols in the agriculture
industry. The Alberta agriculture industry has offset protocols that generate
credits from avoided greenhouse gas emissions under the Alberta offset system.
The protocol validation studies are intended to help farmers, aggregators and
verifiers implement offset projects and design scalable approaches to maximize
greenhouse gas reductions.

The project includes
analysis to help farmers understand when it is cost-effective to participate in
the offset program and tools, such as calculators and spreadsheets, so farmers
can make informed decisions about pricing and costs.

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