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Ontario company turning flax into biodiesel

January 30, 2013, Toronto, ON – Toronto-based Flax Energy Corp. has big hopes that one day flax will provide fuel for the world.


January 30, 2013
By The Globe and Mail

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Jon Dwyer, a 29-year-old entrepreneur and president of Flax Energy says Canada produces 56 per cent of the world’s supply of the grain.

Mr. Dwyer told the Globe and Mail that he expects to announce early in this quarter that his company is the only one in the world to meet the stringent ASTM (American Standard Testing Materials) standards to create biodiesel fuel out of flax. He also anticipates earning a patent on the process this summer.

Flax Energy’s cold-pressed process avoids the use of chemicals. “We’re one of the only companies on our scale not using hexane to extract oil,” he said. Hexane is a hydrocarbon that has been identified by some studies as being harmful to people when exposed to it in high quantities, generally when inhaled.

Flax Energy instead processes the grain in food-grade stainless steel turbines, he explains. The turbine spins and drags the seeds through the machine. “It crushes the seed and organically heats it up, and the heat causes the flax seeds’ vessels to open up and yield the oil.”

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Flax Energy, which maintains farms in Manitoba and Hamilton, Ont., sells most of its fuel to Toronto-based Steam Whistle Brewing and the cities of Brampton and Mississauga. Trucks at the Toronto’s Rogers Centre will run on the biodiesel as well, Mr. Dwyer said.

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