BIOSALIX: Mine Reclamation using Fabricated Soils and Organic Residuals to Augment Soil Quality

Strategic Area

Technology and Innovation

Status

Active

Partners

Alberta Innovates
Bionera
Canadian Forest Service
Emissions Reduction Alberta
EPCOR
Westmoreland

Fund

Clean Growth Program

Year

2018

CGP Contribution

$ 3,812,400

Science & Technology Assistance for Cleantech (STAC) Contribution

$ 1,257,443

Project Total

$ 14,090,543

Location

Forestburg and Edmonton, AB

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Sylvis Environmental Services Inc.

Lead Proponent

SYLVIS Environmental Services Inc.

Project Objectives

The BIOSALIX project will use municipal biosolids as a soil amendment to improve mine reclamation outcomes and establish a biomass plantation comprised of short rotation coppice willows. The biomass crop can then be used as a biomass feedstock for a soil reclamation amendment, energy production, or other uses. The process results in significant sequestration of carbon in both soils and woody biomass, mitigating climate change. The BIOSALIX project sets out to address two unique challenges in Alberta: the accelerated closure of prairie coal mines with its associated environmental and economic challenges, and an increased demand for management of organic residuals.

The BIOSALIX project is about the opportunity to achieve multiple objectives through an integrated approach:

  • Meet federal and provincial carbon strategy policy targets;
  • Provide long-term sustainable management of municipal biosolids;
  • Improve mine reclamation outcomes;
  • Create new jobs in a region where a major employment hub is sunsetting; and,
  • Offer small communities a means for a transition and grow from a mining hub to a clean technology industry.

Expected Results

The BIOSALIX project will be the first of its type and size, providing a path for clean energy growth through the transition of prairie coal mines to biomass production while providing mining communities with economical stability through the development of a cleantech economy.

By using municipal organic residuals to overcome mine reclamation challenges BIOSALIX integrates societal challenges to achieve a highest, best end use and outcome – achieving carbon sequestration, closing the nutrient cycle, building long-term soil productivity, and kickstarting a new economic opportunity through a large-scale demonstration. The result: sequestration of thousands of tonnes of carbon in both the soils and biomass, and new opportunities for communities on the threshold of coal mine closure.