Canadian Biomass Magazine

Top 10 Canadian Biomass articles from 2017

December 22, 2017
By Canadian Biomass staff

Dec. 22, 2017 - Looking back at 2017 – Canada's 150th birthday – there were many notable success stories for Canadian biomass companies, and over the year we were able to visit a handful of projects and share those stories with our readers. 

The year was not without challenges, notably the announcement that the U.S. is pulling out of the Paris climate accord. Gordon Murray, executive director of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada, explains the impact this could have on Canadian producers in a well-read article below.

In Canada, government policy announcements were favourable to growth of the Canadian bioeconomy, specifically the federal Clean Fuel Standard and national carbon pricing. If implemented as promised, we expect 2018 will be an active year for biomass projects.  

Here are 10 top-read stories from Canadian Biomass in 2017:



10. Pulling out of Paris: The effect on the U.S. wood pellet industry

The U.S. decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord may have catastrophic  consequences for the U.S. industrial wood pellet industry, for European biomass power utilities, and even for the Canadian wood pellet industry. Gordon Murray explains why the fallout may adversely affect Canadian pellet producers despite Canada’s support of the Paris agreement.

c4c5378a56e1a0fef2a82e4cf2f4187b_XL.jpg9. BCIT burning to learn with biomass boiler

The boiler system residing at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) is a little ways yet from operational, but the system is much more than just a biomass boiler; it’s a learning tool. Maria Church toured the project site and shares how BCIT when the extra mile to ensure every facet of the system was designed with an educational purpose in mind.

8. Scaling up biochar technology3237ca141c5ebbe4bc12dc6a124ca795_XL.jpg

Airex Energy is testing its unique torrefaction process with the goal of developing a large-scale biochar technology made with forest biomass and agriculture waste. Sylvain Bertrand, Airex Energy general manager, says the company’s unique torrefaction process produces biochar that has the same properties as coal.

c2cf334dd7bb16014ae01ddda774f92c_XL.jpg7. Turning wastewater into cash

Researchers in Guelph, Ont., are hoping to mine the money out of sewage with a new technology that maximizes anaerobic digestion at wastewater treatment plants. On trial is a new technology that can triple biogas production from existing digesters and create pathogen-free biosolids.

6. China is getting serious about biomass powerbdaf37bc12fa68fad2d3d51d23f6ab75_L.jpg

Pinnacle Renewable Energy’s Vaughan Bassett shares insights into the Chinese market for wood pellets after a two-day biomass co-firing workshop he attended in Beijing. This visit, he says, was an impressive window on what is possible in China today.

50cfdb2d44a21f07b7cfe40891d7d782_L.jpg5. Shaw Resources’ pellets help heat Atlantic Canada

Shaw Resources has been keeping Atlantic Canadians warm throughout harsh winters for more than 20 years. The Shubenacadie, N.S.-based company has been producing wood pellets for residential heating under its Eastern Embers brand since 1995. Andrew Snook got a peak inside for this explusive profile story.

4. Haida community installs biomass boilerbd6810439746b409a3342c80795e163d_L.jpg

Old Massett, a remote Haida Nation community, is heating its band office, community hall, health centre and school with a 720-kw biomass boiler that was commissioned in March 2017. Massett economic development officer John Disney shares the project story with Canadian Biomass.

30db40cf01a34d63904dfe1c0c920083_L.jpg3. Understanding wood pellet quality certifications

In the heating sector, quality certification is growing in importance as means of providing third party assurance to consumers that the pellets they are purchasing will provide optimal performance in stoves and boilers. Gordon Murray gives an overview of quality certifications for heating pellets, Part 1 of a two-part series on wood pellet certifications.

2. Early results from Island Lake biomass research6dc3bb8ebb08f95d5d567ab9b19c7bd9_L.jpg

It’s been almost six years since the Island Lake Biomass Harvest Experiment was established and researchers have begun to share some surprising findings from their ambitious harvesting experiment. Taylor Fredericks has the top takeaways from the researchers involved.

how-to-stop-explosion.jpg1. How to stop a pellet plant explosion

One single ounce of oxygen. That’s all it would have taken for an explosion to have occurred at Pacific BioEnergy’s Prince George, B.C. facility in August 2017. Tamar Atik spoke to those involved and shares the lessons learned.


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