In Ontario, Bioindustrial Innovation Canada has completed phase 1 of a project to assess the economic viability of the agricultural biomass to cellulosic sugar value chain in Canada.
The Cellulosic Sugar Production Project is designed to evaluate, develop and physically validate agricultural biomass to sugars and co-products conversion technologies for commercial scale-up application. Currently in Phase 2 of the project, the remaining technology providers (representing unique technologies) will produce sugar and co-products from local agricultural biomass. Sugar and co-products produced will undergo quality assessments by consumer company partners. The results from the analysis will be important to understand sugar quality and to establish sugar standards.
With a successful screening of the economic viability of the business plans with the various technology providers, and sufficient results from the quality testing of their biomass to sugar samples, viable technology providers will be recommended. BIC will make recommendations using the sugar conversion technologies that fulfill the outcomes defined in the study.
Based on this recommendation, a separate follow-up project is anticipated with the Cellulosic Sugar Producers Cooperative which will develop and implement a commercial business plan for field aggregation to biomass conversion to sugar market. The ultimate objective is to establish an economically viable, full-scale, commercial cellulosic sugar plant (~125,000 dry tonnes/year cellulosic mixed sugars) in Southern Ontario by 2018. This is expected to require a biomass conversion facility handling up to 250,000 dry tonnes/year of biomass.