Canadian company gets federal funding for cellulosic demo plant

By Holly Jessen | June 27, 2013

Woodland Biofuels received word on June 26 that it will receive up to $800,000 in funding from in Federal Economic Development funding from the Canadian Government. The company will use the money to operate and optimize its demonstration-scale plant in Sarnia, Ontario.

“We are grateful to the government of Canada and [the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern] Ontario for the strong level of support represented by the funding,” Greg Nuttall, president and CEO, told Ethanol Producer Magazine. “At the announcement, member of Parliament Pat Davidson indicated they expect Woodland to be perhaps the lowest-cost producer in the industry and we intend to use the funding to help prove them correct.”

Woodland Biofuels’ Catalyzed Pressure Reduction technology can be used to produce cellulosic ethanol utilizing a variety of feedstocks, including wood byproducts and waste, cellulosic waste, including municipal solid waste, cardboard or paper and agricultural waste, such as corn stover or food processing waste. The company plans to test different feedstocks at its demonstration plant, which is in the commissioning phase. “The commissioning of the demonstration plant is going well and we expect to make an announcement on that shortly,” Nuttall said.

The next step for the company is to work toward commercial-scale production of cellulosic ethanol. Woodland Biofuels intends to build its own facilities and license the technologies to third parties.

The funding, which comes in the form of a loan with what Nuttall called “favorable repayment terms” though the Investing in Business Innovation initiative. "Our government recognizes that innovation holds the key to long-term economic stability for the people, communities and businesses of Ontario," Davidson said in a press release. "Our investment in Woodland Biofuels will lead to opportunities for job creation, growth and long-term prosperity in Ontario, and will strengthen Canada's position as a global leader in clean energy."

The Canadian Renewable Fuels Association praised the investment in Woodland Biofuels. “Biofuels have proven to be an integral part of Canada’s strategy for reducing emissions from the transportation sector,” said CRFA President W. Scott Thurlow. “By strengthening our capacity for domestic renewable fuels production we can ensure that Canada continues to generate these meaningful environmental benefits for generations to come.”