Forest Biorefinery

This project’s main objective is to develop a systematic integration methodology for assessing the effects of implementing biorefinery technologies in pulp and paper mills in regards to:

  • The plants’ energy profile and water consumption
  • Air emissions
  • The plants’ economic outlook

Three biorefinery technologies available for implementation and integration in Kraft pulp manufacturing plants will be investigated:

  • Lignin extraction and processing
  • Hemicellulose extraction and processing
  • Biomass gasification
Integrated Forest Biorefinery. Please see text version on this page

Integrated Forest Biorefinery

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The project team is developing a unified energy optimization methodology that will take into account the complex interactions between the various energy systems found in a modern facility in terms of its energy generation, steam and water usage, and heat recovery sequences. This methodology will be used to develop strategies for implementing biorefinery units in Kraft plants, based on actual case studies.

The ultimate goal consists in offering innovative, practical and economically viable technological biorefinery solutions for transforming plants’ operational models by allowing them to manufacture a wide range of innovative value-added bio-products, in addition to their main activities.

Decision-Support Tool

The knowledge acquired through the application of design methods in this sector will be integrated into a decision-support tool and used to ensure efficient integration of the biorefinery. In terms of modernizing plants in retrofit mode, the tool will:

  • Provide engineering rules for a forest biorefinery and instructions for its implementation in a Kraft plant
  • Calculate the energy and water use profiles of an integrated biorefinery
  • Assess the CO2 emission levels associated with the integrated biorefinery
  • Provide product platforms and the family of products derived from the integration of a biorefinery in a Kraft plant

The decision-support tool is intended for plant engineering teams as well as engineering consulting firms working with the pulp and paper industry.

Partnerships

Activities related to this project are conducted jointly with several partners, including FPInnovations, the École Polytechnique de Montréal and Hydro-Québec. The project also benefits from FPInnovations’ Biorefinery Initiative, which allows many pulp and paper plants to offer and share data required for analyses. The project is consolidated through a direct collaboration with the École Polytechnique de Montréal’s NSERC Chair in Environmental Design Engineering.

CanmetENERGY is seeking partners interested in collaborating on this research project. To discuss a potential partnership, please contact us.