Governmennt of Canada invests
in development of on-farm bio-diesel plant
RIDGETOWN, ON –– The Government of Canada is bringing biofuel technologies to Canadian farms. Federal funding of $938,260 is being provided to develop a functional, farm-scale oilseed processing and biodiesel plant at the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus that will be used for technology demonstrations, education, and applied research.
Dave Van Kesteren, Member of Parliament for Chatham-Kent—Essex, made the announcement last June on behalf of the Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.
"The Government of Canada is taking real action for our farm families, our environment and our economy," said Mr. Van Kesteren. "We are standing up for farmers by providing on-farm solutions that allow farmers to combat rising fuel costs and input costs".
In partnership with local soybean and pork producers, the "real-life" operation of this plant will help determine the optimum model and scale of an economically viable on-farm biodiesel facility. The facility will provide an independent evaluation platform for the economic structure and feasibility of a small-scale, closed-loop system of biodiesel production.
|Small-scale biodiesel production on farms using soybeans will be evaluated at The University of Guelph.|
|Photo: Karl Ohm|
Another objective of this five-year project is to investigate alternate feedstock such as waste and residues, unmarketable crops, and agri-processing by-products that may be used as energy crops while assessing environmental considerations.
"The University of Guelph is delighted with the federal investment supporting the work to be undertaken at the Ridgetown Campus as part of the strategic plan of the Ontario Agricultural College of the University," said Art Schaafsma, Director, Ridgetown Campus.
"The University is keen to engage producers in the bioeconomy, an important and strategic area of research and development at Guelph, not only to add value at the farm gate by biofuel in the form of biodiesel production and utilization, but also by exploring opportunities to add value to byproduct streams."
An important component of this "real life" project will be communications and outreach. Through teaching, on-site demonstrations, and on-farm consultations, the project will help to evolve biofuels and their applications.
The University of Guelph will collaborate with a wide range of agricultural schools and organizations to use existing expertise and hire a biofuels specialist and a technician to demonstrate, develop and extend biofuels technologies to the farm.
"The outcomes of this project will have many benefits to the agricultural sector," said Kim Turnbull, Agricultural Adaptation Council Chair. "The framework and benchmarks created through this project will assist farmers in determining the feasibility of undertaking their own farm-scale biofuels operation."
The federal contribution for the project is provided through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food program, which is delivered in Ontario by the Agricultural Adaptation Council on behalf of the federal government.
|Besides soybeans, rapeseed is another abundant and valuable crop that is being used in biodiesel fuel production.|
|Photo: Karl Ohm|
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