The Canadian government is bringing bio-fuel technologies to Canadian farms.
It is giving $938,260 to develop a farm-scale oilseed processing and bio-diesel plant at the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown campus that will be used for technology demonstrations, education, and applied research.
Chatham-Kent-Essex MP Dave Van Kesteren made the announcement recently. “The government of Canada is taking real action for our farm families, our environment and our economy,” said Van Kesteren.
In partnership with local soybean and pork producers, the operation of the plant will help determine the model and scale of a viable on-farm bio-diesel facility. The facility will provide an independent evaluation of bio-diesel production.
Another objective of the 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, the director, Ridgetown campus. “The University is keen to engage producers in the bio-economy, an important and strategic area of research and development at Guelph, not only to add value at the farm gate by bio-fuel in the form of bio-diesel production and utilization, but also by exploring opportunities to add value to by-product streams.”
An important component of this project will be communications and outreach. Through teaching, on-site demonstrations, and on-farm consultations, the project will help to evolve bio-fuels and their applications. The university will collaborate with a wide range of agricultural schools to use existing expertise and hire a bio-fuels specialist and a technician to demonstrate, develop and extend bio-fuels technologies to the farm.
“This project will have many benefits ,” said Kim Turnbull, Agricultural Adaptation Council chairman.