The Development of Green Carbons from Biomass Torrefaction: Activated Carbon

B. W. BioEnergy Inc. has developed and characterized three major carbon samples from a renewable, cost-efficient feedstock, the Alder and Willow trees. B.W. BioEnergy Inc. has identified the need for facile methods of activating Torrified Alder tree biomass and probing the potential application of these biomasses to adsorb various industrial pollutants in the aqueous phase including heavy metals (Pb, Hg, Cd and Cu) and organics (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) as a major research objective.

Detoxification of hemicellulosic hydrolysate for butanol production

High demands for fossil fuels and increasing concerns over global warming have renewed the interests in bio-butanol production from biomass resources as an alternative liquid fuel. Hemicellulose, as an inexpensive and abundant raw material, has great potential for being suitable fermentation substrate.

The Petawawa Biofibre Harvest Trial

This project will assess the potential for using unmerchantable wood as feedstock for the production of biofuels and bioenergy. Large tracts of forests within the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Forest (GLSL) consist of low quality pine- mixed woods that could supply feedstock if the unmerchantable wood were recovered in a sustainable and cost-effective manner. We will conduct biomass harvesting trials at the Petawawa Research Forest to assess the sustainability and cost-effectiveness of whole-tree harvest operations in pine-mixed forests characteristic of the region.

High resolution wind turbine power output forecasting

Wind turbine generator power output and consumer electricity demand vary independently from one another. This presents a difficult situation for electricity grid managers as they attempt to exactly match demand using wind turbines and conventional generators (e.g. hydro, fossil fuels). Accurate forecasting of wind turbine generator power enhances management of the electricity grid, allowing for more wind turbine generating capacity while maintaining grid stability.

Minimizing potential induced degradation in crystalline silicon based photovoltaic solar modules

The demand for photovoltaic solar modules has increased tremendously in recent years. Unfortunately, photovoltaic solar modules are prone to potential induced degradation, i.e., a decrease in the power delivered from such modules arising as a consequence of them operating continuously under high applied voltages. This project aims to design a protocol for the accelerated testing of solar modules; we want to speed-up or accelerate the aging of these solar modules in order to identify what materials and configurations in a solar module are less prone to potential induced degradation.

Determination of net calorific value of fresh and aged wood pellets

In this project, the effects of storage time on the heating value of wood pellets are investigated. During relatively long-term storage and transportation, pellets may lose part of its heating value, which could translate to financial losses. However, for a limited and shorter storage time, studies have shown that pellets could have a slight gain in heating value. Thus, this project aims at resolving this ambiguity by conducting lab experiments and fitting the data to a mathematical model for prediction purposes.

The Binary Fluid Ejector- a novel thermal-driven heat pump for low-energy distillation

There are two common technologies that use thermal energy directly to produce cooling – absorption chillers and steam ejectors. Both are old technologies that suffer from serious limitations. MRT is developing a novel Binary Fluid Ejector that can overcome the limitations of prior art to produce a heat pump that can economically harness renewable thermal energy, including waste heat, to do useful work such as air conditioning, process chilling, or distillation/desalination.

Techno-economic evaluation of electric energy storage options of Suncor’s wind farms

In recent years, many energy producers have developed wind farms in Alberta due to their economic and environmental advantages. One of the most significant challenges of wind farms is that wind is an intermittent resource that is uncontrollable and difficult to predict. As such, wind developers are looking to develop electric energy storage (EES) systems to store energy when supply exceeds demand, and to generate electricity from stored energy to meet demand when the wind is producing insufficient electricity.

Computational nanoscale design of advanced lithium iron phosphate battery cathodes

Advanced energy storage materials are essential to the continued economic prosperity of our society, as we move towards the electrification of the transportation industry and the further development of our renewable energy resources. Accelerating the pace of discovery and development in advanced energy storage materials will therefore be vital to maintaining economic competitiveness in the twenty-first century.

Applications Development of Plasma-Derived Nanostructured Carbons

NanoNB Corp (NNB) is a small business concern established in 2005 in New Brunswick, Canada. The company manufactures fullerenes/nanotubes and performs application development. The Intern Cluster (4 students) will focus on proces is improvements of the company’s plasma reactor to improve yields and efficiency of fullerene recovery. As well, two interns will work on conversion of fullerene product to a form used for plastic solar cells. NNB has established a direct market link for these materials and is heavily market-oriented.