Association, Company initiatives, Feedstock, Partnership, Press Release

Canada cooperative in cellulosic sugar supply chain

I am very sorry for the press release-like post (and several others following this will probably be the same) but one must what one can to be able to juggle traveling, blog and my duties to Tecnon OrbiChem — yes I am also trying to balance work with my personal life these days #2016Goals.

Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) has confirmed the potential of available technologies to convert agricultural biomass to sugar. The assessment concluded that there is sufficient economic value with available technologies to support the development of a commercial plant to produce cellulosic sugar and co-products in southwestern Ontario utilizing locally-harvested corn stover.

The evaluation process managed by BIC included the participation of farm organizations, industries currently using agricultural biomass, and technology providers. The study focused on agricultural biomass supply, the economics of biomass conversion technology, and the market acceptance of cellulosic sugar and co-products.

The project was aimed at better understanding the potential commercial value of agricultural residues and how these could be transformed to support a feedstock supply for bioproducts. This project was developed based on previous studies dating back to 2010.

The Cellulosic Sugar Producers Cooperative, an Ontario-based farmer’s cooperative, has accepted the recommendations and is now actively collaborating with potential partners to establish a sustainable agricultural biomass supply chain and commercialize cellulosic sugars and co-products conversion technology.

In its first phase, creation of this agricultural biomass to cellulosic sugar and co-products value chain will generate over 100 direct and indirect full-time jobs and inject more than $100 million into the Ontario economy and will lead to reductions in GHG emissions and climate change impacts. BioAmber said it is looking forward to the prospect of sourcing these sugars for its Sarnia facility when they become commercially available.

Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) ( is a Canadian not-for-profit organization catalyzing the commercialization of Cleantech with focus on bio-based and sustainable chemistry-based technologies including advanced biofuels, biochemicals, biomaterials and bio-ingredients. Based in Sarnia, Ontario, the BIC mission is to create jobs and economic value sustainably in Canada.

This project was funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) assists in delivery of GF2 in Ontario. The project was also financially supported by BIC and its partners, which include Grain Farmers of Ontario, the Cellulosic Sugar Producers Cooperative, BioAmber Inc., the Integrated Grain Producers Co-operative Inc. (IGPC), Jungbunzlauer Canada Inc., Ontario Agri-Food Technologies (OAFT) and Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions. The initial biomass aggregation demonstration and supply chain study was supported by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), La Coop Federée, Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada (AAFC) and through the national agriculture BioProducts Cluster led by BIC.

By the way, I have definitely noticed increasing movement towards the development and use of biomass-based feedstock for chemical production. One thing to think about is that in a competitive environment, consumer markets especially branded products would actually take advantage of selling/promoting products that will use waste feedstock, not to mention lowering their carbon footprint. This is one way to gain market shares. Will they pay a bit more for this? Probably.

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.


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