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BFN in the News

Locating hotspot biomass could accelerate sector growth

February 13, 2017. A recent study done by BFN researchers aimed at identifying untapped biomass hotspots in Canadian forests has produced findings that could help Canada to mobilize its wood-based bioenergy supply chain.  Read more here>> 

Next-generation biofuels emerging in Montreal

January 23, 2017. Mounting environmental concerns have sparked growing interest in the development of renewable energy resources, with biofuels leading the way among industries likely to provide substitutes for fossil fuels. Many BioFuelNet researchers based in Montreal are leading the way to develop this technology.  Read more here>> 

Media Release: New Research Partnership to Shed Light on Aboriginal Business Views of Bioenergy Development

January 19th, 2017. The University of Winnipeg’s (UW) Centre for Forest Interdisciplinary Research (C-FIR), Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB), and University of Alberta have initiated a new biomass energy innovation study project, the research is in part funded by BioFuelNet Canada.  Read more here>> 

Neste and Bioenergy La Tuque to start R&D cooperation on utilizing forest residues in biofuel production

January 17th, 2017. Neste and Bioenergy La Tuque (led by BFN researchers) have started R&D cooperation with the objective of studying the potential of using forest residues as a raw material in biofuel production in La Tuque, Canada.  Read more here>> 

Improving the bioproduct supply chain

December 22, 2016.The biofuel supply chain has been identified as a key barrier to the development of a bioproduct industry in Canada. It’s a barrier that BioFuelNet’s low-cost sustainable feedstock (LCSF) Task Force is determined to break..  Read more here>> 

P&P biorefineries out of the woods

December 6th, 2016. BioFuelNet’s Integrated Biological Biorefinery Task Force is rejuvenating the Pulp & Paper industry.  Read more here>> 

BioFuelNet Canada’s response to the EcoFiscal Commission report on biofuels

October 7th, 2016. BioFuelNet Canada responds to the Ecofiscal Commission report on biofuels and explains why Canada needs biofuels.
Read it here on our blog.
Read it here on Canadian Politics here.

Aviation TaskForce interviewed about aviation biofuels in Canada

October 2nd, 2016. Radio-Canada reporter Chantal Srinivasta interviews Prof Murray Thomson (in French) on aviation biofuels and talks about BioFuelNet`s role in Canada. Listen here.

BioFuelNet Canada Responds To Study Claiming “Biofuels Are Worse Than Gasoline”

September 6th, 2016. BioFuelNet responds to Unviersity of Michigan study claiming ”biofuels are worse than gasoline” by explaining why the methodology is flawed and therefore results in wrong conclusions
Read more in Value Walk 
Read more in Biofuels International
Read more in Canadian Biomass
Read more in Advanced Biofuels USA
Read more in Pulp and Paper Canada

Récolte responsable pour un avenir durable

July-August, 2016. Mathilde Routier explains her research Le Monde Forestier. The article explores the positive and negative impacts of considering woody biomass as a renewable energy source.  Read more here>> 

Saint Mary’s team attends BioFuelNet’s Advanced Biofuels Symposium in Vancouver

25 July, 2016. A five-member team from the Faculty of Science at Saint Mary’s University recently attended the BioFuelNet’s Advanced Biofuels Symposium in Vancouver. Read more here>> 

Biofuels experts meet in Vancouver to discuss energy and climate 

June 30th, 2016. As our use of fossil fuels is one of the major contributors to climate change, rethinking the energy sector will be a crucial undertaking for generations to come. Whether solid, liquid or gas, sustainable advanced biofuels are one important part of the solution as an alternative and renewable fuel. Read press release here>>

Scientists IMPROVe job interview skills in Vancouver

June 30th, 2016. Finding a job after graduation can be a daunting task, especially after spending years on multiple advanced degrees and highly specialized laboratory research. On July 6th, a group of young and talented scientists will be honing their job interview and networking skills using improvisational theatre techniques during BioFuelNet Canada’s annual student workshop in Vancouver. Read press release here>>

Getting Energized

June 2016 - Our roundup of the newest alternative energy initiatives includes projects for northern regions, solar panels, waste heat capture and CO2 systems for biomass boilers. Read more in Greenhouse Canada Magazine >> (see p 34-36)

Putting Waste to Work

June 2016 - Garret Munch radiates enthusiasm – especially when he gets a chance to talk about his passion: clean energy. “You have to admit,” says the University of Manitoba graduate student, as though anticipating an objection, “biofuels are cool.” When Munch began working on his Master’s degree in engineering, he had his sights set on producing biodiesel.  Read more in Canadian Biomass Magazine>>

A Montreal e Toronto partono i progetti per carburanti riciclati e puliti. “Questa è una sfida non solo ingegneristica, ma politica e morale”

June 8, 2016 - Che cosa unisce due visionari? Un terzo visionario. Il terzo è l’americano Richard Buckminster Fuller. Inventore, architetto, designer e anche filosofo, negli Anni 70 del Novecento arrivò alla clamorosa conclusione che «l’inquinamento non è altro che una risorsa che non sfruttiamo: lo sprechiamo perché non siamo consapevoli del suo valore».  Read more in La Stampa >> See English translation>>

Air Canada, CBSCI choose airport for aviation biofuel project

May 12, 2016 – Air Canada has announced Canada’s Biojet Supply Chain Initiative will be held at Montréal-Trudeau Airport. It is a three-year collaborative project with 14 stakeholder organizations to introduce 400,000 liters (105,668.82 gallons) of sustainable aviation biofuel (biojet) into a shared fuel system. Read more in Canadian Biomass Magazine>> 

The big tilt: Growing willow trees at a sharp angle boosts biofuel yield

March 28, 2016. A true scientist keeps an open mind and avoids making assumptions. Ideas that seem plausible must be tested, retested, and tested once more. Most ideas die on the vine, but once in a while an idea has legs and wings and catches everyone by surprise, including the person who came up with it. Read more in Canadian Biomass Magazine>> 

Air Canada, research partners to introduce biojet fuel into airport supply system

April 4th, 2016 – Canada’s largest airline will take part in a three-year research project that introduces a new type of jet fuel into one airport’s supply system. Air Canada says it will participate with 13 other organizations to set up a shared biojet fuel system at an airport in Canada yet to be determined. Biojet fuel uses organic material from renewable sources that will be blended with regular jet fuel made from petroleum. Read more in the Montreal Gazette>> Read more on Canada News Wire>>

BioFuelNet Canada brings biofuels education to Canadian high schools

February 21st, 2016. In Quebec, BioFuelNet Canada has partnered with Talk Energy Week to participate as panelists at schools in eight Canadian cities, where they will be discussing sustainable advanced biofuels with over 1800 grade 11 and 12 students. Each participating classroom will be sent a series of educational infographics, illustrating various types of biofuels, where they come from and how they are made. Read more in Biofuels Digest >>

1800+ high school students across Canada learn about biofuels

February 17th, 2016. There’s no denying our predicament anymore: humanity has no choice but to find solutions to mitigate climate change, and to adapt to this irrevocable reality. This is why BioFuelNet Canada is joining hands with Talk Energy Week to participate as panelists at schools in eight Canadian cities, where they will be discussing sustainable advanced biofuels with over 1800 grade 11 and 12 students. Read press release here >> See French version>>

Air Canada backs effort to build homegrown ‘green’ jet fuel infrastructure

December 10th, 2015. Ambitious project aims to eventually tap into existing fuel-delivery systems at Canadian airports. Canada’s aviation sector made history in 2012 after a number of test flights showed that renewable jet fuel could be blended with regular fuel without affecting airplane performance. Read more in the Toronto Star>>

Canadian, Israelis collaborate on biofuel research

November 28th, 2015. Drive by a farm in southern Ontario in October or November and you’ll see fields golden and thick with plant matter. The corn or other crops have been harvested, but there is plenty that remains – the agricultural equivalent of end cuts and remnants. Read more on CJNEWS>>

Meeting bioenergy challenges head on

December, 2015.  Australia is not alone in the challenges it faces in developing biomass for heat, power, transportation fuels and bio-based products, as the world moves towards more sustainable production and a reduced reliance on fossil fuels. Read more in Ecogeneration>>

Israel and Canada Cooperate on Biofuels

November 9, 2015. Hope is that biofuel can partly replace fossil fuels. Biofuel is the wave of the future and Canada and Israel can cooperate in this area, say experts from both sides. Read more here >>

Biocarburants de l’aérien: pourquoi ça ne décolle pas (encore) ?

August 19, 2015. Entretien avec Steve Csonka, directeur de la CAAFI (Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuel Initiative), lors du symposium sur les biocarburants avancés de BioFuelNet. Lire l’article de Gaia Presse ici >> 

Biocarburants avancés: “C’est maintenant que ça se passe”

August 18, 2015. Entretien avec Jim Lane, rédacteur en chef du Biofuels Digest, lors du symposium sur les biocarburants avancés de BioFuelNet. Lire l’article de Gaia Presse ici >> 

Molecular Marvel

August 2015. A Novel Catalyst greases the wheels of Biofuel production. Depending on how many years separate you from your last chemistry class, you may or may not remember the definition of a catalyst. Read more in Asia Pacific Biotech News >>

Les égouts transformés en puits de carburant vert

July 23, 2015. Simon Barnabé, chaire de recherche industrielle en bioénergie, UQTR et membre du réseau BFN discute de son projet de créer des biocarburants avancés à partie de microalgues cultivées dans nos égouts.  Lire l’article dans le Journal de Montréal ici>> 

Du biocarburant fait à partir de microalgues

July 23, 2015. Simon Barnabé, chaire de recherche industrielle en bioénergie, UQTR et membre du réseau BFN discute de son projet de créer des biocarburants avancés à partie de microalgues avec le journaliste de Salut Bonjour George Pothier. Visionnez la vidéo ici  >> 

Scientists ‘improv’ their communication skills at symposium on advanced biofuels

July 22, 2015. Marc Rowland, Montreal Improv Theatre director, leads a group of scientists (HQPs) at the Advanced Biofuels Symposium through a series of improv exercises as a way of improving the way they communicate their science, in Montreal on Wednesday, July 22, 2015. Read more in the Montreal Gazette here >>   Watch the video here  >>

Le Symposium BioFuelNet Canada veut des progrès rapide pour les biocarburants

July 22, 2015Le journaliste de Radio Canada Boris Proulx s’entretient avec le responsable du projet de gazéification de BFN, Jean-Michel Lavoie sur le symposium sur les biocarburants avancés 2015 et sur la situation actuelle des biocarburants avancés. Écoutez sur le site de Radio-Canada ici >> 

Biofuels scientists learn improv theater to communicate with style

July 9, 2015. Spontaneity, creativity, storytelling, connecting with people – these are all traits that
scientists often struggle with, especially biofuels scientists. This is why BioFuelNet Canada, the nation’s
largest advanced biofuels network, is training its scientists in improvisational theatre, also known as
improv. See press release here >>

Canada’s main event for advanced biofuels coming to Montreal 

9 July 2015. BioFuelNet Canada, the nation’s largest research network on advanced biofuels, will host its annual Advanced Biofuels Symposium, July 22-24th, 2015. The Symposium takes place in downtown Montreal at the Omni Hotel, and is proud to be an entirely carbon neutral event. Read more in press release >>

Molecular Marvel: A novel catalyst greases the wheels of biofuel production

May/June 2015. Depending on how many years separate you from your last chemistry class, you may or may not remember the definition of a catalyst: a compound that facilitates a chemical reaction without being consumed by the reaction. Read more in Canadian Biomass Magazine >>

A fine balance: seeking that perfect fuel mix

June 2015. Developing novel fuels is a balancing game. Want an eco-friendly mix? Prepare to give up some performance. Looking to cut costs? Anticipate some combustion glitches. If you’re going for higher performance, you may need to compromise on carbon footprint. Read more in Process West Magazine>>

Major funding boost for biofuels research

5  May 2015. The national research network BioFuelNet Canada (BFN) has just released $8.5 million in funding for research and commercialization of advanced biofuels, which are produced from non-food materials – primarily waste. Read more in Greenhouse Canada>>

BioFuelNet releases $8.5 M in funding for advanced Canadian biofuels

20 April 2015. The national research network BioFuelNet Canada (BFN) has just released $8.5 million in funding for research and commercialization of advanced biofuels, which are produced from non-food materials – primarily waste. See press release here>>    French version here>>   See Canadian Biomass article here >>  

Feeding the Flame – Best biomass sources

24 March 24 2015. Identifying the best sources for harvesting biomass for biofuel. The production of biofuel calls for large doses of patience. It can take several years to grow the trees and grasses, known as feedstock, that serve as the raw material for biofuel, and large swaths of land are required to grow these plants at commercially viable levels. Read more in Canadian Biomass Magazine>>

Jorin Mamen (Executive Director, BioFuelNet) discusses BioFuelNet and international collaboration at World Bio Markets in Amersterdam

15 March 2015Watch here >>

Michael Chae (BioFuelNet Program Manager, Biorefining Conversions and Fermentation Laboratory, University of Alberta) discusses biofuels at Let’s Talk Energy Week (skip to 38.00)

19 February 2015. Watch here >>

Dr. Donald Smith, BioFuelNet Scientific Director, examines the effects of climate change on Canadian agriculture on Manitoba Farm Journal Radio. (skip to 19:00)

18 February 2015. Listen here>>

BioFuelNet release biofuels infographics for Talk Energy Week

18 February 2015. What are biofuels? What are advanced biofuels? What are they made from? How are they produced? All these questions are meticulously answered in this series of educational infographics released by BioFuelNet Canada. See press release here>>

BioFuelNet publie une série d’infographiques sur les biocarburants pour la semaine Parlons énergie

18 février 2015. Que veut-on dire par biocarburants? Qu’est-ce qu’un biocarburant avancé? De quoi sont-ils composés? Comment sont-ils produits? Les réponses détaillées à ces questions se retrouvent dans cette série d’infographiques éducative publiée par BioFuelNet Canada. Voir communiqué de presse>>

BioFuelNet: Multidisciplinary Experts Working for a Greener Future

February 2015. Canada holds enormous potential for sustainable advanced biofuel production. We have a wealth of biomass, including many agricultural and forestry wastes and by-products, as well as municipal wastes. See article here>> (See page 32)

4 minutes with… Dr. Donald L. Smith, McGill University, CEO and Scientific Director of BioFuelNet

December 25, 2014. Tell us about your organization and it’s role in the advanced bioeconomy. BioFuelNet is a not-for-profit company whose objective is to network all elements (academic, industry, government) of the advanced biofuels community in Canada. Read more in Biofuels Digest>>

Full speed ahead: setting the course to a mature biofuels industry

5 December 2014. Owning a home has long been viewed as a rite of passage and a marker of adulthood. If this benchmark is any indication, it looks like the biofuels industry is growing up. Years of research and development in the industry are finally paying off, not only in terms of sophisticated technologies for producing biofuels, but the facilities to house these technologies. Read more in Canadian Biomass Magazine >>

Better yield from yeast

5 December 2014 - Like all industrial processes, the creation of pulp leaves a residue of waste. To the Canadian forest-products company Tembec, this waste has spawned a sideline business. Read more in Canadian Biomass Magazine >>

Windsor research helping vehicles run on biofuel

26 November 2014 – These days, fuels for cars vary almost as much as the cars themselves. Each country has its own standards for biofuel content, resulting in a mishmash of fuel compositions. Read more in Canadian Biomass Magazine >>

Fueling Canada’s emerging bio-economy

21 November 2014 – According to Dr. Donald Smith, one of Canada’s leading minds on the subject of the bio-economy and a professor at McGill University, we are only scratching the surface in terms of Canada’s potential to lead in the emerging global bioeconomy. Read more in the Globe and Mail >>  (see page C6)

Can bugs turn waste into fuel?

13 August 2014 - Postdoctoral Fellow Miloslav Sailer is studying in the chemistry lab of professor John Sorensen at the University of Manitoba. In extremely simplified terms, his research examines bio-fuel derivatives. Read article here>>

Transforming toxic waste into green energy

Emerging graduate research at Concordia seeks to turn pulp mills into dynamic biorefineries

28 October 2014 – How can a struggling industry like pulp and paper in Canada be revived? According to Damien Biot-Pelletier, a Concordia PhD candidate in biology, the answer lies in synthetic biology. Read more in Canadian Biomass Magazine >>

BioFuelNet Canada to begin Phase II funding

3 October 2014 - BioFuelNet Canada is almost ready to begin accepting applications for Phase II funding, which could offer up to $10 million in research money to help address the challenges impeding commercialization of advanced biofuels in Canada. Read more here >>

Canada’s Armed Forces have a unique opportunity to drive change

11 August 2014 - Necessity has certainly fueled invention in the energy world. As we continue to work our way through the finite global supply of fossil fuels, countries large and small have been scrambling to develop and deploy clean-energy alternatives. Read more here >>

This op-ed article by BioFuelNet was published in the Hill Times.

Greener heating for greenhouses

20 June 2014 - A new control system for biomass furnaces leaves greenhouses with a smaller carbon footrpint. Read more in Canadian Biomass Magazine>>

Shifting the Canadian biofuels sector into high gear

23  May 2014 – Movers and shakers in the biofuels space put their heads together in Ottawa at the Advanced Biofuels Symposium. See press release>> See article in Yahoo! Finance

Speakers announced for Advanced Biofuels Symposium

April 29, 2014 -  BioFuelNet Canada has confirmed details for its keynote speakers for the upcoming Advanced Biofuels Symposium in Ottawa. Three keynote speakers will be part of the Symposium, taking place at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre May 27-29. Read more in Canadian Biomass Magazine>>

McGill et l’ETS seront des acteurs majeurs du développement de Griffintown

19 avril 2014 Dans les rues de Griffintown et de la Petite Bourgogne, des bannières se hissent ici et là pour rappeler que nous traversons le Quartier de l’innovation. Read more in Le Devoir >>

Canadian business summit to develop biofuels roadmap

Monday, December 2nd, 2013. Who’s buying biofuels? Who’s investing in biofuel companies? What are the key factors determining the success or failure of biofuel producers? These are questions BioFuelNet Canada intends to tackle at their Strategic Business Summit. Read more in Reuters>>

Greener biofuels: BioFuelNet Canada partners with Florida Energy Systems Consortium

Monday, October 14, 2013 - Today, BioFuelNet Canada and the University of Florida announced a new ambitious collaborative agreement to develop cellulosic ethanol technologies and advanced biofuels. Read press release>>.

Don Smith named to Canada’s Clean50 list

 September 23, 2013 - Don Smith, James McGill Professor in the Department of Plant Science and Scientific Director of BioFuelNet, has been named a recipient of a Canada’s Clean50 Award.  Read More in the McGill Reporter >> Read more in Canadian Biomass Magazine>>

Canada shouldn’t put all its energy eggs in one basket

19 August 2013 –  There are many risks in placing too much emphasis on fossil fuels as the answer to Canada’s energy needs. Read more >> (see bottom half of page)

This op-ed article, written by Dr. Don Smith and Annie Webb, was featured in the Hill Times.

Air Canada, Airbus ask McGill group to study biofuel options

13 May 2013  – Companies want BioFuelNet Canada to recommend best alternate fuel for country’s biggest carrier. Read More in the Toronto Star >>

See original press release: BioFuelNet Canada Joins Forces with Airbus and Air Canada to Develop Advanced Biofuels Solutions for Aviation

From slime to dollar signs?

4 February 2013 – Dr. David Levin is a researcher at BioFuelNet, a network of researchers from 25 Canadian universities, partnering with industry and government, and focused on developing processes to create next-generation biofuels from biomass. Read More in Canadian Biomass Magazine >>

Engineered microbes that convert waste into biofuels

31 January 2013 – Article on Dr. Levin’s and Dr. Sparling’s advanced biofuels research at the University of Manitoba for BioFuelNet. Read More in the University of Manitoba Newsroom >>

Jubilee Medal bestowed upon Dr. Don Smith, President of BioFuelNet Canada

6 December 2012 – Justin Bieber recently made headline news by accepting his Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in overalls. Another notable Canadian from a completely different walk of life, Dr. Donald Smith, McGill University Plant Science Professor and President of BioFuelNet Canada, was awarded the same prestigious medal. Read more >>

NCE R&D models continue to solve today’s innovation needs

19 November 2012 – Now is an auspicious time for Canada to be proactive about the development and commercialization of advanced biofuels. See page 38 in this issue of the Hill Times >>

A next-generation biofuel strategy offers hope for the future

8 June 2012 – Biofuels, including conventional ethanol made from corn or wheat, have had a tough year.  In January, the United States ended a long-standing excise-tax exemption that acted as an ethanol producer incentive, and at the same time lowered tariff barriers that had prevented the import of Brazilian sugarcane-based ethanol. Read more >>

This op-ed article, written by Dr. Don Smith and Dr. Warren Mabee, was featured in the Hill Times.

McGill aura son centre de recherche sur les biocarburants

31 mai 2012 – Le nouveau centre, appelé BioFuelNet Canada, s’établira dans le nouveau Quartier de l’innovation, un projet commun de McGill et de l’École de technologie supérieure. Read more in La Presse >>

Canada poised to become world leader in next-generation biofuel development

30 May 2012 – A plane powered by grass? Sounds unlikely, but thanks to a new research network led by Prof. Don Smith from McGill University’s Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, this could one day become a reality. Read more in the McGill University Newsroom >>

Fuelling our future

12 september 2012. Dr. Donald L. Smith is the scientific director of a new, McGill-led Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE), called BioFuelNet Canada. The consortium brings together more than 80 researchers from 25 institutions, plus some 40 industry partners, to tackle one problem from all angles: how can we keep humanity humming with affordable energy without bringing our home to a boil? Read more in the McGill News  >>