Agricultural Biomass Research* Studies in Ontario


*Research is included in this inventory if it is conducted by an accredited researcher and addresses key questions related to the feasibility of commercializing agricultural biomass for combustion energy. Projects must be science-based, verifiable and reproducible.

The information in this inventory is believed to be accurate and current as of the publication date. However, not all projects are captured and projects are subject to change.

Please click on each of the seven hyperlinked research headings below to be taken directly to that section of the research project inventory.

Titles of Research Studies

Agronomy/Field Studies

Project Name: Best Management Practises for Perennial Grass Production for Biomass in the Sand Plains Region

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): John O'Sullivan (U of G)

Collaborators (Institution): U of G, OMAFRA, Ontario Forage Council

Source of Funding: Sand Plains Community Development Fund (Community Futures)

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: Total project – $240,000

Status: Underway (two-year study beginning in June 2010)

Scope/Description: Evaluation (at Simcoe Research Station) of four perennial grass species over a two-year period to determine optimal methods of crop establishment, weed management, enhanced yield and biomass properties for end uses.

Timing of Key Deliverables: 2012


Project Name: Bioenergy Crop Trials at New Liskeard

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): John Rowsell (U of G, New Liskeard Research Station)

Source of Funding: Scott Banks (OMAFRA)

Status: Underway

Scope/Description: Establishment of test plots


Project Name: Biomass Test Plots for Various Research Studies

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Dr. Aung Oo (University of Western Ontario Research Park, Sarnia)

Collaborators (Institution): Institute for Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources (UWO)

Source of Funding: Crops donated by Canadian Forest Service, Rural Lambton Stewardship Network, Tallgrass Ontario and Pyramid Farms

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution:

Status: On-going

Scope/Description: Two acres of energy crops (willow, poplar, Miscanthus, switchgrass, and native tall grass mix); pilot-scale pyrolysis for bio-oil and bio-chemical production; biomass also used for nutrient extraction study (see "Feasibility of Improving Biomass Combustion through Extraction of Nutrients").


Project Name: Commercial Energy Grass Production and Implications for Invasive Species in Canada

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Claudia Ho Lem (Resource Efficient Agricultural Production [REAP] Canada)

Collaborators (Institution): R. Samson, and S. Bailey-Stamler (REAP – Canada)

Source of Funding: Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $23,000

Status: Completed

Scope/Description: Use of literature to discuss the history of invasive grasses and potential risks posed by growing grasses for energy.

Timing of Key Deliverables: Dec. 2008


Project Name: Comparative Performance of Perennial Grasses and Short Rotation Woody Crops on Different Soil Types for Energy and Carbon Sequestration

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Mahendra Thimmanagari (OMAFRA)

Collaborators (Institution): Bill Deen, Naresh Thevathasan and Andy Gordon (UofG); Ian McDonald, Todd Leuty and Shalin Khosla (OMAFRA)

Source of Funding: Environmental Sustainability Directed Research Program, OMAFRA

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: Total Project – $90,000; 100% OMAFRA funding

Status: Underway

Scope/Description: Evaluation of performance of mixed sources of herbaceous and woody energy crops on Classes 2 and 3 soils over three years, to assess biomass production potential for fuel; information collected on crop yields, fuel quality and carbon sequestration; field trials at Guelph Turf Grass and Agroforestry Research Site.

Timing of Key Deliverables: 2012


Project Name: Comparison of Miscanthus and Switchgrass

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Bill Deen (U of G)

Collaborators (Institution): Dr. Tom Voigt (University of Illinois)

Source of Funding: Energy Bioscience Institute

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $29,800

Status: Underway

Scope/Description: Comparison of Miscanthus to switchgrass in a trial identical to those across the midwest US.


Project Name: Development of Bioenergy Feedstock: Agronomy Data for Eastern Canada

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): R. Jannasch (REAP – Canada)

Collaborators (Institution): P. Duxbury and R. Samson (REAP – Canada)

Source of Funding: Natural Resources Canada

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution:

Status: Completed

Scope/Description: Development of a comprehensive data set on the performance and agronomic limitations of several bioenergy feedstocks in Eastern Canada.

Timing of Key Deliverables: July 2001


Project Name: Evaluation of Clonal and Seedling Genotypes of Miscanthus Across Ontario

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Bill Deen (U of G)

Collaborators (Institution): Doug Young, Ashraf Tubeileh (U of G)

Source of Funding: Mendel Biotechnology

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $234,047

Status: Underway

Scope/Description: Evaluation of winter hardiness, yield, flowering dates and other properties of seedling and clonal genotypes of Miscanthus at three locations in Ontario (Elora, Leamington, Kemptville).

Timing of Key Deliverables: Dec. 2012 (final report)


Project Name: Evaluation of Perennial Grass Biomass Systems in Ontario

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Bill Deen (U of G)

Collaborators (Institution): Doug Young, Ashraf Tubeileh, John Rowsell, Al Mckeown and Rene Van Acker (U of G); Ian McDonald and Scott Banks (OMAFRA)

Source of Funding: U of G /OMAFRA partnership and Alternative Renewable Fuels Program (OMAFRA)

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $340,009 from partnership; $162,173 from ARFP

Status: Underway

Scope/Description: Objective is to evaluate yield, winter survival, nitrogen response and biomass properties of Miscanthus, switchgrass and native grass varieties under different soil and climatic conditions across Ontario.

Timing of Key Deliverables: Mar. 2012


Project Name: Literature Review of Agricultural Residues

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Greg Stewart (OMAFRA)

Collaborators (Institution): Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario


Project Name: Miscanthus Irrigation and Variety Demonstration Trial

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Project Lead – Donna Speranzini (formerly of OMAFRA)

Collaborators (Institution): Shalin Khosla, Hugh Fraser, Jennifer Llewellyn, Wayne Brown and Christoph Kessel (OMAFRA); P Project partners: Ontario Greenhouse Alliance, Soil Resource Group (U of G) and Agri-Food Laboratories

Source of Funding: OMAFRA Great Lakes program

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $20,000

Status: Completed in March 2010 but continuing to monitor spring yields in 2011

Scope/Description: This trial is part of a larger demonstration project to identify methods of management for irrigation and fertilizer run-off from greenhouse and container nursery operations; project uses two Miscanthus varieties, irrigated and non-irrigated with nutrient rich container nursery run-off water; project demonstrates that growers can close both the nutrient and energy loop on the farm.

Timing of Key Deliverables: Jan. 2008 – Mar 2010


Project Name: N Rates on Established Switchgrass

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Scott Banks (OMAFRA)

Collaborators (Institution): Kurt Vanclief, Willowlee Sod Farms, Ameliasburgh

Source of Funding: Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $5000/yr for three years

Status: Underway – in second year of trial

Scope/Description: Evaluation of optimum N rates for switchgrass.

Timing of Key Deliverables: 2011


Project Name: Ontario Field Crop Residue Survey of Availability and Properties as Potential Feedstocks for the Bioeconomy

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Ian McDonald (OMAFRA)

Collaborators (Institution): Bill Deen (U of G); Greg Stewart, Peter Johnson, Horst Bohner (OMAFRA); Marian Desjardine (Middlesex SCIA)

Source of Funding: Environmental Sustainability Directed Research Program, OMAFRA; funding requested from OPG, Greenfield Ethanol, Lafarge Cement, Ari-Food Labs, U of G

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: Total Project – $239,031.80; OMAFRA contribution – $138,031.80

Status: Underway (ESDRP funding approved)

Scope/Description: In 20 locations across Ontario, characterization of corn, soybean and cereal residues in terms of "retrievable" yields, moisture, nutrients and bulk density at harvest and post harvest; analysis of both soil sustainability and productivity; samples thrashed and measured at the Elora Research Station.

Timing of Key Deliverables: July–Aug 2010 (interim report); Feb. 2012 (final report)


Project Name: Physiological Cold Tolerance Mechanisms of Miscanthus

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Kate Withers (U of G)

Collaborators (Institution): Bill Deen (U of G), Eric Lyons (U of G), Steve Bowley (U of G), Rowan Sage (U of T)

Source of Funding: MITACS, OMAFRA, Agricultural Adaptation Council, Ontario Forage Council, New Energy Farms, Mendel iotech

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: OMAFRA's Alternative Renewable Fuel (ARF) field trials are a key component to this research

Status: Underway

Scope/Description: Objective is to assess Miscanthus genotypic variation in cold acclimation activity, freeze stress tolerance and ability to withstand ice encasement stress; field trials, greenhouse studies and root zone cabinets used to impose stress and observe physiological changes.

Timing of Key Deliverables: September 2011


Project Name: Report on Literature Review of Agronomic Practices for Energy Crop Production under Ontario Conditions

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Hilla Kludze (U of G)

Collaborators (Institution): Study for OFA

Source of Funding: OFA (with funding from AAFC)

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $2.4 million for entire OFA study; (OMAFRA in-kind contribution)

Status: Completed

Scope/Description: Global literature review of background studies in biomass production (Miscanthus, switchgrass, poplar, sorghum, reed canary grass).

Timing of Key Deliverables: June 2011


Project Name: Switchgrass Plant Improvement Program for Paper and Agri-Fibre Production in Eastern Ontario

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): W. Asbil, P. (Kemptville campus, U of G); A. Blais (Alfred Campus, U of G)

Collaborators (Institution):

Source of Funding: CanAdapt

Status: Completed

Scope/Description: Series of studies designed to optimize weed management and identify yields and promising cultivars of switchgrass on soils of eastern Ontario.

Timing of Key Deliverables: 1999


Biomass Availability and Characterization (also see "Multiple Stages of Supply Chain")

Project Name: Assessment of the Availability of Agricultural Biomass for Heat and Energy Production in Ontario

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Hilla Kludze (U of G)

Collaborators (Institution): Bill Deen, Alfons Weersink, Rene Van Acker, Ken Janovicek and Aaron De Laporte (U of G)

Source of Funding: U of G/OMAFRA partnership

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: OMAFRA contribution – $60,000

Status: Completed

Scope/Description: Analysis of theoretical and actual biomass availability based on technical and economic constraints (residues and purpose-grown energy crops); identification of cost of production; focus of study is at the farm gate level.

Timing of Key Deliverables: Nov. 2010


Project Name: Biochemical Analysis

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Project Manager for OFA – Charlie Lalonde (CJ Agren Consulting)

Collaborators (Institution): Study for OFA

Source of Funding: OFA (with funding from AAFC)

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $2.4 million for total project (OMAFRA in-kind contribution)

Status: Pending

Scope/Description: Accurate assessment of plant material chemical composition leading to a provincial database of biomass crop properties.

Timing of Key Deliverables: Oct. 2013


Project Name: Land Use and Policy Impacts of the Transition to a Green Economy

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Alfons Weersink (U of G)

Collaborators (Institution): Denys Yemshanov and Dan McKenney (Natural Resources Canada); Aaron De Laporte (U of G)

Source of Funding: U of G/OMAFRA partnership

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: Total project – $397,000; OMAFRA contribution – $161,000

Status: Underway

Scope/Description: Spatial and cost-benefit modelling (Canadian Forest Service – Forest Bioeconomic Model), incorporating agricultural crops; study will estimate land use changes in response to development of the green economy and climate change.

Timing of Key Deliverables: Apr. 2012


Project Name: Report on Energy Crop Options for Ontario Power Generation (Lambton Generating Station)

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Aung Oo, (University of Western Ontario Research Park, Sarnia)

Source of Funding: Ontario Power Generation

Status: Completed

Scope/Description: General analysis of theoretical energy crop availability (using soil capability and REAP-Canada assumptions), supply chain requirements, economic analysis and challenges.

Timing of Key Deliverables: May 2009


Biomass Processing

Project Name: Agricultural Feedstock Torrefaction Research

Collaborators (Institution): Centre for Energy Advancement Through Technological Innovation (CEATI)

Source of Funding: Consortium including OPG and other European and North American utilities

Status: Underway

Scope/Description: Research project to assess the feasibility of torrefying ag biomass using multiple technologies and multiple feedstocks; assessment of the characteristics of torrefied feedstock e.g. storage requirements, product stability, calorific value and fuel handling, friability, combustion properties including slagging/corrosion issues in boilers; assessment of pre–processing steps and densification.

Timing of Key Deliverables: 2-year project to be completed in 2013


Project Name: Alternative Technologies to Transform Biomass into Energy

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Project Manager for OFA – Charlie Lalonde (CJ Agren Consulting)

Collaborators (Institution): Study for OFA

Source of Funding: OFA (with funding from AAFC)

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $2.4 million for total project (OMAFRA in-kind contribution)

Status: Pending

Scope/Description: Strategies to enable local producers to access energy markets e.g. electricity grid, natural gas pipeline and other transformations (biomass for ammonia production) for on-farm use; strategies to capture residual heat.

Timing of Key Deliverables: Oct. 2013


Project Name: Assessing Alternate Energy Option for Cost Reduction in Greenhouse Industries

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Animesh Dutta (U of G)

Collaborators (Institution): Amco Producers

Source of Funding: MITACS ASccelerate

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $90,000 (No contribution from OMAFRA)

Status: Underway

Scope/Description: Biomass /agricultural residues combustion

Timing of Key Deliverables: 2012


Project Name: Biomass from Bioprocessing

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Project Manager for OFA – Charlie Lalonde (CJ Agren Consulting)

Collaborators (Institution): Study for OFA

Source of Funding: OFA (with funding from AAFC)

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $2.4 million for total project (OMAFRA in-kind contribution)

Status: Pending

Scope/Description: Assessment of local aggregation requirements to support bio-processing facilities; mapping of several value chain opportunities such as bio-plastics, biomass fibre food trays and chemical product extractioin.

Timing of Key Deliverables: Oct. 2013


Project Name: Densification of On-Farm Biomass to Achieve Transportation Efficiencies

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Project Manager for OFA – Charlie Lalonde (CJ Agren Consulting)

Collaborators (Institution): Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) and local Ontario growers

Source of Funding: OFA (with funding from AAFC)

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $2.4 million for total project (OMAFRA in-kind contribution)

Status: Pending

Scope/Description: Assessment of options for moving biomass off-farm to an aggregator, comparing various densification options in terms of farm equipment needs and transportation costs; testing of PAMI's mobile densification unit with purpose grown energy crops to assess transportation efficiencies.

Timing of Key Deliverables: Oct. 2013


Project Name: Development of Agricultural Pellet Standards

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Project Manager for OFA – Charlie Lalonde (CJ Agren Consulting)

Collaborators (Institution): Dr. Staffan Melin (UBC)

Source of Funding: OFA (with funding from AAFC)

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $2.4 million for total project (OMAFRA in-kind contribution)

Status: Pending

Scope/Description: Extrapolate learnings from development of ISO standards for wood pellets to inform ag biomass pellet standards development; this will support the marketing of pellets for combustion in Ontario, Canada and other countries.

Timing of Key Deliverables: Oct. 2013


Project Name: Feasibility of Improving Biomass Combustion through Extraction of Nutrients

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Mohammad Rahbari (Cennatek Bioanalytical Services)

Collaborators (Institution): Study for OFA

Source of Funding: OFA (with funding from AAFC)

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $2.4 million for total project (OMAFRA in-kind contribution)

Status: Phase 1 Completed; Phase 2 Underway

Scope/Description: Phase 1: Literature review and lab work on removal of elements undesirable to biomass combustion e.g. alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, Cl and Si. Phase 2: focus on chlorine extraction.

Timing of Key Deliverables: June 2011 (Phase 1); Feb 2012 (Phase 2)


Project Name: Hydrogen Enrich Gas Production from Biomass with CO2 Capture

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Animesh Dutta (U of G)

Source of Funding: NSERC Discovery

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $105,000 (No contribution from OMAFRA)

Status: Underway

Scope/Description: Agricultural biomass gasification with CO2 capture.

Timing of Key Deliverables: 2014


Project Name: Study and Development of a Self-Sustained Torrefaction Process for Upgradation of Fuel and Properties of Agricultural Residues

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Animesh Dutta (U of G)

Collaborators (Institution): Shohel Mahmuc and Bill Deen (U of G)

Source of Funding: OMAFRA

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $98,500

Status: Underway

Scope/Description: Agricultural biomass torrefaction: range of feedstock, materials handling, optimization of temperature, residence time and heating rate; energy requirements, product stability, combustion characteristics, densification, and demonstration of a commercial scale torrefier.

Timing of Key Deliverables: April 2014


Project Name: Torrefaction of Non-Conventional Biomass and Agricultural Residue

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Animesh Dutta (U of G)

Collaborators (Institution): Nova Scotia Agricultural College

Source of Funding: NSDA and OMAFRA

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $74,600 ($34,600 through OMAFRA HQP)

Status: Underway

Scope/Description: Agricultural biomass torrefaction.

Timing of Key Deliverables: 2011, 2012


Multiple Stages of Supply Chain

Project Name: Assessment of Agricultural Residuals as a Biomass Fuel for Ontario Power Generation

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Dr. Aung Oo and Dr. Katherine Albion (University of Western Ontario Research Park, Sarnia)

Source of Funding: OPG

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: No OMAFRA funding

Status: Completed

Scope/Description: Description and analysis of potential use of agricultural residues (e.g. corn stover, corn cobs, straw, vegetable plant material, soy stover, other suggested alternatives): volumes, chemistry, BTUs, harvesting equipment and logistics, aggregation options, economics, sustainability, and processes to improve combustion.

Timing of Key Deliverables: Nov. 2010


Project Name: Biomass Fuels at the Lafarge Bath Plant (Energy Farm Project)

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Lafarge

Collaborators (Institution): Sustainable Bioeconomy Centre (Queen's); Ashraf Tubelleh and Timothy Rennie (U of G, Kemptville Campus); Performance Plants; Royal Military College

Source of Funding: Lafarge North America

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: No OMAFRA funding

Status: Completed

Scope/Description: Since 2008, different varieties of energy crops were grown on 100 acres; test burns undertaken in kilns at the cement plant; assessment of agronomic, environmental and industrial characteristics of biomass crops.

Timing of Key Deliverables: Test burn held in fall, 2010


Project Name: Biomass in Ontario (Chapter 4) from the report: Smart Generation - Powering Ontario with Renewable Energy

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Roger Samson (REAP – Canada)

Source of Funding: David Suzuki Foundation

Status: Completed

Scope/Description: A description of the role biomass can play in Ontario's electricity and heating sectors.

Timing of Key Deliverables: 2004


Project Name: Biomass Resource Options: Creating a BIOHEAT Supply for the Canadian Greenhouse Industry

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Stephanie Bailey-Stamler (REAP – Canada)

Collaborators (Institution): R. Samson and C. Ho Lem (REAP – Canada)

Source of Funding: Natural Resources Canada

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $30,000

Status: Completed

Scope/Description: Analyses of the possibility of developing low cost, greenhouse gas friendly biofuel energy resources for the purpose of providing heat to greenhouses.

Timing of Key Deliverables: July 2006


Project Name: Cement 2020: Biomass for the Cement Industry

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): David Hyndman (Hyndman and Associates Inc.)

Collaborators (Institution): Lafarge North America, Asia Pacific Partnership (Environment Canada), WWF, Queen's University, Sustainable Ventures Inc., Hyndman and Associates Inc., Royal Military College, NRCan CANMET Laboratories

Source of Funding: Asia Pacific Partnership; Lafarge Group – Local Initiative; MOE's Climate Change Branch; Ontario Centres of Excellence

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: No OMAFRA funding

Status: Underway

Scope/Description: "Cement 2020" is considering what practical measures can be implemented at the Bath plant and potentially worldwide in the cement industry by 2020 to reduce GHGs and emissions; will produce a "Road Map" to guide the cement industry


Project Name: Evaluation of Biomass Production, Nutrient Cycling, Harvesting and End-use of Biofuel Crops in Eastern and Northern Ontario

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Timothy Rennie (U of G)

Collaborators (Institution): A. Tubeileh, J. Rowsell, J. Fisher, A. Crolla, C.Kinsley (U of G)

Source of Funding: U of G/OMAFRA partnership

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $81,091 (100% from OMAFRA)

Status: Underway

Scope/Description: Field trials of annuals (sorghum and millet) and perennials (switchgrass, Miscanthus, big bluestem, reed canary grass) on lands of below average productivity in Kemptville and New Liskeard, including harvesting, processing, energy output, ash content, end-use and economics; evaluation of field drying and densification; use of ash and biochar as soil amendments; assessment of end-use options i.e. direct burning and anaerobic digestion.

Timing of Key Deliverables: June 2012


Project Name: Geographic Information Systems (GIS and Location Theory Based Bioenergy Systems Planning)

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Jingyuan Dong (U of W - masters' thesis)

Status: Completed

Scope/Description: Use of GIS and location theories for biomass availability assessment, biomass candidate selection, and location-allocation of power plants and biomass supplies. Use of p-Median Problem (PMP) model to address transportation.

Timing of Key Deliverables: June 2008


Project Name: Optimization of Switchgrass Management for Commercial Fuel Pellet Production

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Roger Samson, (REAP – Canada)

Collaborators (Institution): S. Bailey Stamler. C. Ho Lem (REAP - Canada)

Source of Funding: OMAFRA-Alternative Renewable Fuels Research and Development Fund

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $189,600 including OMAFRA contribution of $101,850

Status: Completed

Scope/Description: Examination of various strategies to improve the commercial viability of switchgrass for thermal applications.

Timing of Key Deliverables: March 2008


Project Name: Study of Industrial Residuals as Fuel for Biomass Repowering Program

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Dr. Aung Oo and Dr. Katherine Albion (University of Western Ontario Research Park, Sarnia)

Collaborators (Institution): Andy Keir, Konrad Fichtner (AECOM)

Source of Funding: OPG

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: No OMAFRA contribution

Status: Underway

Scope/Description: Evaluation of the suitability of various industrial residual biomass materials (such as wheat shorts, wood residuals, DDG) for use as fuel at OPG thermal generating facilities.

Timing of Key Deliverables: 2011


Project Name: Use of Biomass Combustion to Heat Greenhouses and Supplement CO2 in the Greenhouse

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Fernando Preto (NrCan) and Xiuming Hao (AAFC, Harrow). Stakeholders: OGVG and its members

Collaborators (Institution): Shalin Khosla (OMAFRA)

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: No OMAFRA funding

Status: Underway

Scope/Description: Evaluation of fuel availability, cost and security of supply, fuel pre-treatments and handling, fuel matrix (biomass properties and emissions vs. conversion technology).

Timing of Key Deliverables: 2004 to 2012 (pending)


Project Name: Using Perennial Energy Crops as Vegetated Buffer Strips along Sensitive Watercourses

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Erin Black and Lauren Mulkerns (Sheridan College)

Collaborators (Institution): OMAFRA

Source of Funding: None

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: In kind contribution from OMAFRA only

Status: Completed

Scope/Description: Assessment of the feasibility of using perennial biomass along watercourses in the Leamington, ON area for the dual purpose of providing harvestable biomass and phosphorus removal from overland runoff.

Timing of Key Deliverables: August 2011


Project Name: Valorization of Alternative Ontario Crops: High Value Biofuels and Biochemicals from Jerusalem Artichoke via Extraction, Fermentation and Pyrolysis

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Franco Berruti (University of Western Ontario)

Collaborators (Institution): Alan McKeown (U of G) and Jim Todd (OMAFRA)

Source of Funding: Sand Plains Community Development Fund (SPCDF)

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $120,050

Status: On going

Scope/Description: Analysis of the potential of using Jerusalem artichoke as a multipurpose feedstock for the production of energy and chemicals.

Timing of Key Deliverables: March 2012


Project Name: Value Chain Foresight

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Project Manager for OFA – Charlie Lalonde (CJ Agren Consulting)

Collaborators (Institution): Facilitator to be hired

Source of Funding: OFA (with funding from AAFC)

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $2.4 million for total project (OMAFRA in-kind contribution)

Status: Pending

Scope/Description: Scale-up value chain requirements for Ontario farmers to support an OPG biomass market for combustion; facilitator, with input from key stakeholders to develop a strategic plan to support implementation and future policy considerations while documenting early economic metrics

Timing of Key Deliverables: Oct. 2013


Life Cycle Assessment

Project Name: Environmental Attributes

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Project Manager for OFA – Charlie Lalonde (CJ Agren Consulting)

Source of Funding: OFA (with funding from AAFC)

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $2.4 million for total project (OMAFRA in-kind contribution)

Status: Pending

Scope/Description: Complete documentation of environmental attributes (reduction in soil erosion, phyto-remediation, carbon sequestration for the entire root zone and water footprint); study to address land use change policy issues, quantification of carbon offsets for voluntary carbon markets, and potential additional revenue sources for purpose grown energy crops.

Timing of Key Deliverables: Oct. 2013


Project Name: Life Cycle Analysis Framework and Model for Assessing Lifecycle Impacts and Environmental Sustainability of Ontario Agricultural Feedstocks for Bio-energy

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Claudia Wagner-Riddle (U of G)

Collaborators (Institution): Warren Mabee (Queen's Univ.); Steven Young, Goretty Dias (U of W); Bill Deen (U of G)

Source of Funding: U of G/OMAFRA partnership

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: Total Project - $136,000; OMAFRA contribution - $136,000

Status: Underway

Scope/Description: Refinement of LCA software to address agriculture; focus is on-farm emissions, crop and soil management, allocation method for co-products, indirect land use change; will enable comparisons to be made between crop residues and herbaceous and woody energy crops from an LCA perspective.

Timing of Key Deliverables: Aug. 2012


Project Name: Life Cycle Analysis of Agricultural Biomass

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Heather McLean (U of T)

Collaborators (Institution): Bill Deen (U of G) and Goretty Dias (U of W)

Source of Funding: Ontario Power Generation

Status: Completed

Scope/Description: Focus is on environmental implications of use of biomass for electricity generation in Ontario from resource extraction and transportation through to use of fuel in electricity generating station; study investigated, on a lifecycle basis, selected environmental implications associated with Miscanthus and corn cob electricity generation scenarios in Ontario.

Timing of Key Deliverables: Summer 2011


Project Name: Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of Short Rotation Willow (Salix) Crops for Bioenergy

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Andrew Gordon, Naresh Thevathasan (U of G)

Collaborators (Institution): Derek Sidders (Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, NRCan); Phil Reinert (OPG); Rob Mager (OPG); Mohammad Rahbari, (Cennatek); Jim Gallant, (Remasco); Glenn Ruby (Ruby Farms)

Source of Funding: OMAFRA/U of G partnership

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $131,500 from OMAFRA

Status: Underway

Scope/Description: Region-specific (southern Ontario) field data for short rotation willow system, which will establish the baseline net energy and GHG balance for short rotation willow production systems in Ontario.

Timing of Key Deliverables: May 2013


Cost Analysis

Project Name: Analysing Ontario Biofuel Options: Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Efficiency and Costs

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Roger Sampson, (REAP – Canada)

Collaborators (Institution): S. Bailey Stamler, J. Dooper, S. Mulder, T. Ingram, K. Clark and C. Ho Lem (REAP – Canada)

Source of Funding: BIOCAP Canada Foundation

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $22,000

Status: Completed

Scope/Description: Use of scientific literature and government policy documents to calculate dollar cost of energy production and net greenhouse gas savings.

Timing of Key Deliverables: Jan. 2008


Project Name: Literature Review and Study Energy Market Alternatives for Commercially Grown Biomass in Ontario

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Kaji Kado (PPD Technologies Inc.)

Collaborators (Institution): Study for OFA

Source of Funding: OFA (with funding from AAFC)

Total Project Cost and OMAFRA Contribution: $2.4 million for total project (OMAFRA in-kind contribution)

Status: Completed

Scope/Description: Summary of current feedstock types, availability, competitive energy products, technology constrains, en-users and processing technologies.

Timing of Key Deliverables: March 2011


Economic Development

Project Name: Biomass for Rural Vitality

Lead Researcher (Institution, Company, Agency): Shelagh McDonald (Eastern Lake Ontario Regional Innovation Network – ELORIN)

Collaborators (Institution): John DiPaulo and Julia Bryan (ELORIN)

Source of Funding: Prince Edward, Lennox and Addington Community Futures Development Corporation

Status: Completed

Scope/Description: Exploration of opportunities to produce agricultural biomass pellets in Lennox and Addington County: potential feedstocks, land availability, cost projection for a pelletization facility and potential markets.

Timing of Key Deliverables: Mar. 2009


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 14 November 2011
Last Reviewed: 10 February 2014