Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan have developed a new method that could make biofuel from the thousands of tonnes of canola meal that has been left over.
There is an abundant supply of pellets in Ontario’s agricultural economy that can be used as a biofuel by Canada’s research chair in bio-energy and ecologically friendly chemical processing, Professor Ajay Dalai.
“Canada exports about $300 million worth of pellets [from forestry] to Japan, USA and U.K. and few other countries,” said Professor Dalai. “Why can’t we do the same thing for agricultural materials to bring some revenue to our [local] farmers?”
Canola-based biofuel is not that new due to the fact that there is already biofuel made by blending canola oil with diesel fuel. However, Dalai’s technique is quite different, which turns canola meal into pellets and replace coal and oil, an example of its use would be to heat homes.
According to Dalai, of the 18 million tonnes of canola meal that Canada produced in 2019, 10 million tonnes came from Saskatchewan. Once the canola oil is extracted, about 40% of the meal is fed to cattle and a few gets exported. Half of the remaining leftover can be use to make pellets.
One of Dali’s advantage is the fact that exporting the meal can get expensive, which motives to keep their products in the province rather than ship them out. Also, about 83% of Saskatchewan’s electricity derives from fossil fuel, which is a limited source, making the province rely heavily on them.
“Eventually we’ll run out of fossil fuels. We are phasing out oil gradually, for home heating, for transportation, for industry; we have to rely on alternative sources, including bioenergy,” he Dalai.
“That is not only for us, but for the next generation and generations down the road. So, if you can contribute a small part to this … I think that’s really good for everyone.”
Original source material for this article taken from here