Canadian Biomass Magazine

SRC supports ethanol in Saskatchewan

October 21, 2011

Oct 21, 2011, Nipawin, SK - Nipawin Biomass Ethanol New Generation Co‐operative Ltd. (Nipawin Biomass) has signed a contract with the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) to help complete its first cellulosic ethanol plant.

The contract outlines the next series of development requirements for engineering support to advance the design for the Nipawin Biomass cellulose ethanol facility. Nipawin envisions processing non‐merchantable waste timber and local farm fibre (flax/straw) into ethanol at the proposed green fuel facility in Nipawin, Saskatchewan.

Nipawin Biomass and SRC have jointly developed a proprietary conversion technology which will process synthesis gas from waste wood and farm fibre, such as flax fibre or straw, into ethanol and other alcohols. This contract continues work to refine the catalytic process and to match the engineering requirements to in‐feed materials planned for the facility.

“We are pleased to be able to be able to work with SRC to continue to advance the technology of
cellulose conversion to ethanol and to define the design requirements for a full‐scale production
facility,” said Lyle Larsen, chairman of the board at Nipawin Biomass. “Our facility will be among the first in the world to convert cellulose into ethanol and we need to ensure that the technology and conversion processes best match our feedstock.”

The proposed ethanol plant will require approximately 200,000 oven dried metric tonnes of cellulosic fibre per year, approximately two‐thirds of which would come from forest residue and the remainder from farmers in the Nipawin region.


“Working on this new technology with Nipawin Biomass has helped SRC gain additional expertise in
catalyst development in the ethanol industry,” said Darren Anweiler, BioProcessing Manager at SRC.
“We are looking forward to continue exploring this exciting process in the commercial application of
ethanol production.”

Through collaboration with Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc. of the USA (Fulcrum), the catalytic conversion
process developed by Nipawin and SRC is being integrated into Fulcrum’s proprietary process
configuration for converting municipal solid waste, or household garbage, into ethanol. With its first
plant projected to enter construction in 2011, Fulcrum is on track to become one of the first companies to commercially produce ethanol from municipal solid waste, creating a reliable domestic source of renewable fuels, reducing North America’s dependence on oil and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

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