Canada invests $15.5 million in triticale research

By Ryan C. Christiansen | March 05, 2009
Web exclusive posted March 13, 2009, at 2:18 p.m. CST

The Government of Canada will invest CAN$ 15.5 million (US$ 12 million) from the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Agricultural Bioproducts Innovation Program in the Canadian Triticale Biorefinery Initiative (CTBI) research network, which is led by AAFC and Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. The CTBI network aims to develop new ways for using triticale as a feedstock for ethanol production and the manufacturing of biomaterials.

Triticale is a hybrid of wheat and rye, which combines the high yield potential and grain quality of wheat with the disease and environmental tolerance of rye. It's currently grown mainly for animal forage or feed.

The CTBI network currently includes 30 projects involving more than 90 scientists from the Alberta Research Council, Carleton University, Centre de recherche sur les grains (CÉROM), Concordia University, École Polytechnique de Montréal, the University of Alberta, the University of Lethbridge, and GreenField Ethanol Inc.

GreenField Ethanol will be working at its Center of Excellence pilot-scale cellulosic biorefinery and laboratory in Chatham, Ontario, along with the National Research Council Biotechnology Research Institute, to improve a pentose-fermenting yeast for the production of cellulosic ethanol from triticale and other forms of biomass, said Mark Schwartz, manager of business development for GreenField Ethanol's Engineering & Technology Group.

The Agricultural Bioproducts Innovation Program supports feedstock production for bioproducts, including biofuels, through the development of crop platforms, cropping systems, and biomass conversion technologies.