Federal government provides cash for UG bio-fuel studies

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.