Canadian Biomass Magazine

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University of Alberta’s biojet technology gets boost from federal government


April 1, 2021
By Natural Resources Canada

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The Canadian government is invested $2.89 million toward the University of Alberta’s biojet technology.

The University of Alberta, along with project partners Alberta Innovates, FORGE Hydrocarbons Inc., Western Economic Diversification Canada, Future Energy Systems, CanmetENERGY Devon and Edmonton International Airport, are also providing funding toward this $7.4-million project.

The investment will support the university’s lipid-to-hydrocarbon (LTH) technology by developing pathways to generate renewable jet fuel from a range of feedstocks, including waste materials from the restaurant and livestock industries.

“Turning waste from restaurants into jet fuel is just another example of the world-leading research being done in Alberta,” Doug Schweitzer, minister of jobs, economy and innovation, Government of Alberta, said. “The innovative ways we are finding to reduce emissions and create jobs will be a critical part in our economic recovery and diversification.”

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Led by inventor Dr. David Bressler, professor at the University of Alberta, the LTH technology has the potential to reduce the aviation industry’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 90 per cent. This will create a solution that is both safer and cleaner compared to traditional jet fuels, which are primarily derived from oil.

In addition, the commercial deployment of the technology, with multiple plants in various locations in Canada, will create jobs and other economic opportunities.

“The Government of Canada continues to invest in innovative green technology projects that will grow our economy, create jobs and advance our clean energy future,” Jim Carr, special representative for the Prairies and Member of Parliament of Winnipeg South Centre, said, speaking on behalf of Canadian Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan Jr. “Through strong partnerships, innovation and environmental protection, we are building a more sustainable and competitive future for all.”

This project is funded through Natural Resources Canada’s Energy Innovation Program (EIP), which invests in the research, development and demonstration of clean energy technologies to lower emissions, including GHGs, with the aim of meeting 2050 clean growth targets. The EIP recognizes that innovations in clean energy technologies must be affordable, reliable and sustainable to support Canada’s transition toward a low-carbon economy.

The Energy Innovation Program also provided support to the University of Alberta for the capacity to collaborate with the CanmetENERGY laboratory in Devon, Alta., which will develop methods and processes for converting distillate cuts from the LTH technology into biojet fuel. This investment was through the program’s Science and Technology Assistance for Cleantech initiative, which provides federal laboratory support for innovators to help bring Canadian clean technologies to market by providing federal research expertise, facilities and equipment.

The government continues to support innovative clean energy technology projects that enable clean, competitive and sustainable natural resource sectors.