Challenge looks for new tech to produce RNG
December 19, 2017
By Foresight and BC Bioenergy Network
Dec. 19, 2017 - Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre and BC Bioenergy Network (BCBN) today announced an ARCTIC Innovation Challenge to find technologies that will convert the by-products associated with producing renewable natural gas (RNG) into commercially viable products, such as organic fertilizer.
When organic waste – such as animal manure, wood waste, and municipal solid wastes – decomposes, biogas is produced which contains RNG. RNG can be a carbon neutral source of energy or even carbon negative in some cases, and can replace conventional natural gas for use in homes, businesses, and vehicles. Technologies that produce RNG from organic waste have been around for decades; however, the adoption rate by B.C. farmers has been slow due to a variety of factors, including high capital and operating costs and a return on investment that is dependent on government policy.
“Industry consultation identified a process within the RNG supply chain that could benefit from innovative technologies,” said Scott Stanners, Executive Director of BCBN. “Nutrient extraction and conversion to a saleable product exemplifies transforming an environmental challenge into an economic opportunity; a win-win outcome.”
“Only three agricultural facilities in B.C. are currently producing and utilizing RNG, compared to thousands of projects around the world,” said Neil Huff, Managing Director of Foresight. “By applying innovative solutions for turning waste into something of value, we hope more farmers in BC will participate in this growing market opportunity.”
The technologies eligible for consideration in the ARCTIC Challenge include Nutrient Recovery Technologies (NRT), which can extract the nutrients from digestate, as well as those that can convert the nutrient by-products into a marketable end-product (e.g., improve the ability to transport the product at lower cost).
The deadline for proposals is Feb. 28, 2018. Shortlisted candidates will be selected in March 2018, followed by a five-month Challenge Sprint process. Following the Challenge Sprint, one solution will be selected for additional funding and Field Trial testing. A total of up to $500,000 in funding will be available for the combined Challenge Sprint and Field Trial phases.
An information webinar with respect to this ARCTIC Challenge will be hosted by BCBN and Foresight on January 11, 2018. Full details are available here: arctic.foresightcac.com/arctic-challenges/sprint-5-bc-bioenergy-network/ . The ARCTIC Innovation Challenge series is Foresight’s flagship program, with six challenges currently underway. ARCTIC is funded with support from Western Economic Diversification (WD), BC Innovation Council (BCIC), and NRC-IRAP. This ARCTIC Innovation Challenge is also made possible through the financial support of industry partner BC Bioenergy Network, and the advisory services of consulting partners Tessellate Inc. and The Delphi Group.
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