Domtar Windsor to evaluate conversion of woody biomass to value added bio-products, bio-fuels

Domtar Inc. says its mill in Windsor, QC will host a $C4.9- million R&D project to evaluate technologies that will convert woody biomass into value-added bio-products and bio-fuels. This will be done by generating data, modeling and techno-economic evaluations combined with pilot-scale testing that are necessary to support future demonstrations. The commercial implementation of these advances would lead to increased energy efficiency at the mill, reduced fossil fuel consumption and increased carbon sequestration.

• Recover waste heat to dry biomass as a pre-processing step;

• Convert the dried biomass into bio-oil and bio-char (as a co-product) by an innovative fast pyrolysis technology and evaluate the co-firing potential of the bio-oil in existing boilers at the mill;

• Valorize bio-char (as a sequestrated carbon) into value added carbon-based products;

• Convert low-cost woody biomass (incremental pulp and under-utilized wood) into high quality hydrolysates; ferment the hydrolysates into alcohols; convert the hydrolysates into algal biomass; convert algal biomass to proteins; and

• Undertake techno-economic analysis and environmental assessments.

Results of this project, if implemented on a commercial scale, would significantly reduce both the mill’s fossil fuel use and its GHG emissions. Similar reductions could be realized at Domtar’s three other Canadian pulp mills resulting in a potential reduction of CO2 emissions/year. The technology could also find application in other pulp mills worldwide with similar effect. The technology partner is Andritz.

Domtar Inc., www.domtar.com.

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