Ingrid Clark, Town & Country Ontario
A partnership is forming in Renfrew between the hewers of wood
and high-tech 'green' company. Ensyn Corporation is taking the
wood waste from saw mills and turning it into green energy;
the process that uses waste bio-mass to make bio-oil and other
Bill Hall, Opeonga Forestry Service - President
Every time two loads of logs arrive at the saw mill, we unload
them. We de-bark them, run them through the saw mill and make
them into lumber. And the products come out of that, about 50%
is lumber and the other 50% is split between bark, sawdust and
wood chips. So overall, about half of all the material that
comes to the sawmill ends up as a type of residue that can go
to pulp mills, board plants or for combustion for products made
from heat like electricity or the type of thing Ensyn will be
using in their operation to make bio-oils and other bio-products.
Bob Graham, Ensyn Corporation - President & CEO
The technology is called rapid thermal processing. If you can
just imagine, we're injecting wood and other bio-mass, into
a cyclone, into a tornado of hot sand. And very quickly, in
less than half a second, the wood comes into contact with hot
sand and it's just vaporized. It's like water turning into steam.
The solid wood turns to a vapour very quickly and that vapour
is condensed, just like steam can be condensed on a window and
become liquid. So now we have liquid wood or liquid biomass,
and there is so much more you can do with liquid than a gas
or a solid.
Sustainable development of Ontario's forests and a competitive
forestry industry are vital to Renfrew County. The industry
is traditionally relied on for local employment and economic
Leo Hall, Opeongo Forestry Service
I like to think of it as a significant regional advantage that
we have. We have all these forests that grow around us which
produce some high value and important wood products which can
be sustainable managed for continuous economic prosperity.
Ensyn Corporation partnered with the County of Renfrew the Opeonga
Forestry and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
though Ontario's Rural Economic Development Program. The funding
provided through this program was key in the start up for the
new, green energy operation.
Barry Freel, Ensyn Corporation, Chief Technology Officer
Two reasons (for) the big allure for Renfrew: number one the
building was available; it has the space that we required for
our equipment. Secondly, the availability of feed stocks and
in particular the flooring manufacturer next door, where there
was a ready source of hardwood sawdust.
We've been able to take the RTP concept literally from the bench
scale to all the way up to the facility you see in the background
with a capacity of a 100 tons per day. We know now that we are
getting to that level where RTP can start to get out into the
world and be used to start to help environmental concerns to
be able to replace fossil fuels products, for instance.
We take the wood; we make a liquid about 75% yield - looks like
coffee. Then out of that liquid we extract food flavourings,
resins, concrete additives so that especially in Canada, your
asphalt remains nice and plastic in cold weather, and a number
of other chemicals we're looking at from a development point
Global environmental efforts recognize biomass as CO2 neutral,
meaning that the wood waste used to produce energy can be recycled
by planting new trees which capture carbon dioxide form the
atmosphere; a benefit to the environment.
And so when you are using biomass to produce chemicals that
would otherwise be produced from petroleum or to generate power,
heat or electricity that would otherwise be generated from petroleum,
you are truly CO2 neutral. And the rationale is that every time
you use biomass - use an amount of wood in a process - that
wood is being regenerated somewhere in the forest.