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Bioenergy Facilities

CanmetENERGY performs a wide range of biomass research activities from proof of concept to continuous pilot-plant processes for certain technologies. In order to carry out these research and development activities, we draw on our expertise in a variety of bioenergy-related processes, including: combustion, thermochemical conversion (gasification and pyrolysis), thermal cracking, fast esterification, catalytic conversion (hydrotreating and deoxygenation), biochemical conversion (fermentation and anaerobic digestion), and biomass materials densification, drying, and handling. We also engage in sustainable development planning and assessment.

Our Bioenergy Systems Group is an integral member of a larger, multi-departmental community, and has a close working relationship with universities, other government departments, and industry. These partnerships enable us to closely monitor the needs of the biomass community and to provide relevant advice and information.

We have fully instrumented facilities with temperature, pressure, continuous gas analysis, and sampling capabilities for specialized tests (including size-separated particulate, volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, heavy metals, and halogens), as well as portable analyzers for on-site testing.

Other biomass equipment and analytical services available include:

  • Small pilot scale (~25 kW) to small commercial scale (~1 MW) including:
    • 25 kW circulating bed reactor (combustor or gasifier)
    • 0.5 MW circulating fluidized bed combustor
    • 1 MW bubbling fluidized bed (combustor or gasifier)
    • 1 MW moving grate furnace
    • 0.5 MW flame tunnel furnace for liquid biofuels
    • 200 kW downdraft gasifier
  • 1 tonne per day pilot-scale dryer and fast pyrolysis unit
  • 1 tonne per day pelletizer
  • 5 tonne per day wood chipper
  • Fully automated reactor systems for catalyst performance evaluation and process development (20 mL to 1 L tubular reactors)
  • 5 kW sterling engine
  • 300 mL autoclave reactors

In addition, CanmetENERGY's Characterization Laboratory is equipped with scanning electron microscopy (SEM), x-ray diffraction (XRD), x-ray fluorescence (XRF) technology and a, gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer. The Characterization Laboratory follows the standards set by the (GC-MS), and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) methods for liquid fuel analysis and solid characterization.

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