Posts

U.S. Business Opportunity: Government Research Funding for waste-related R&D

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced over $79 million (USD) in funding for bioenergy research and development including biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower. This funding supports DOE’s goal of providing consumers and businesses with a range of domestic energy options that are affordable, reliable, and secure.    

There are a number of topics areas for this funding related to waste management including the following:

  1. Renewable Energy from Urban and Suburban Wastes: Support academic research and educational programs that focus on strategies to produce bioenergy and bioproducts from urban and suburban waste feedstocks.
  2. Plastics in the Circular Carbon Economy: Develop biobased plastics with improved performance and recyclability and lower the cost and energy-intensity of recycling  existing plastics through enhanced degradation.
  3. Rethinking Anaerobic Digestion: Develop anaerobic processes or alternative strategies to enhance carbon conversion efficiency and lower costs of smaller scale wet waste systems.
  4. Reducing Water, Energy, and Emissions in Bioenergy: Identify biofuels or bioproducts technologies with the greatest potential for reducing water consumption, energy consumption, and/or emissions relative to existing conventional fuels or products.

For more information, read the full Funding Opportunity Announcement, visit the U.S. DOE Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Exchange website.

NGIF’s $1.5 Million Cleantech Competition

,

The Natural Gas Innovation Fund™ (NGIF) recently announced a $1.5 million funding call to advance cleantech solutions in three strategic focus areas – energy efficiency; renewable gases (including renewable natural gas and hydrogen); and carbon capture – for natural gas distribution and end use industry in Canada.

NGIF is accepting submissions to its intake stage for funding requests to support new technologies and innovative approaches in the above three identified focus areas. We will make up to $300,000 in non-dilutive funding available per project in Canada, representing as much as 33 per cent of a project’s eligible expenses. The competition is open for small to medium enterprises and technology development start-ups in Canada and globally.

Interested applicants should download the Applicant’s Guide online and submit their investor deck at info@ngif.ca by June 17, 2019. More information on the Natural Gas Innovation Fund and how to apply can be found at www.ngif.ca.

The Natural Gas Innovation Fund™ (NGIF) was created by the Canadian Gas Association (CGA) to support the funding of cleantech innovation in the natural gas value chain. It seeks to fill a technology development gap in the sector and invest in innovation enabling natural gas solutions for current and emerging challenges facing Canada’s energy system.

The existing portfolio of companies that have received NFIG funding include iGen Technologies, CHAR TECH Solutions, and NextGrid.

Zooshare Biogas Co-operative receives $2.7 million in funding

, ,

Zooshare Biogas Co-operative recently announced it has received a multi-year grant of $2.67 million from the Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), as part of the Low Carbon Economy Fund.

The government funds will support the construction and operation of the Zooshare anaerobic digester that is being built at the Toronto Zoo. It will enable Zooshare to double the processing capacity of feedstock which will consist of animal waste from the Toronto Zoo and organic waste from nearby grocery stores.

With this grant in place, Zooshare will continue with its plans to complete construction this year and reach commercial operations in Spring 2020.  Zooshare will also begin the planning work related to the facility’s expansion, which would include adding a second digestion tank and the necessary equipment to clean and inject renewable natural gas (RNG) into nearby pipelines.

About Zooshare

ZooShare is developing North America’s first zoo-based biogas plant. The anaerobic digester will recycle manure from the Toronto Zoo and local food waste into renewable power for the Ontario electricity grid. This process will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, and will return valuable nutrients to the soil in the form of a high-quality fertilizer.

The ZooShare mission is to be a catalyst, through education and investment, in the growth of community-owned biogas plants. The Co-op’s business model also creates investment opportunities that keep energy dollars in the local economy.



Farm Boy Grocery to test on-site organic treatment system

, , , ,

Farm Boy Grocery is partnering with Food Cycle Science on a project that will test an on-site organic food waste mechanical/drying system.  As a way to extract lost value from waste, this project will show how a small footprint, on-site system can process organic food waste at grocery retailers to reduce handling, storage and transportation costs – while producing an end-product with beneficial nutrient and fertilizer properties.

Food Cycle Science is an Ottawa-based clean-tech start-up company that was incorporated in 2011.  It claims that its FoodCycler unit is capable of reducing food scraps by 90%, while converting the remaining 10% in a soil amendment.  It also claims that its system is odorless, silent, and energy efficient.

When in operation, the enclosed system first agitates the food waste, breaking it down into small particles.  While it is being agitated, it is also heated, partially decomposing and sterilizing the by-product entirely. The carbon filter filtration system on the unit is used for odour control.  The FoodCycler process takes anywhere from 2-6 hours for the process to completely dehydrate the food waste.

The form of the by-product that is generated from the process varies depending on the type of food waste being processed. Fish or cooked vegetables appear as fine powder form, and uncooked vegetables appear in a small cereal-like form. Cake, rice, and starches will have a thicker, chunkier texture.

Home-size Food Cycle Unit

The St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences undertook an initial characterization of the physical, chemical and biological properties of the organic material produced by the FoodCycler unit located at the Cornwall Community Hospital. The preliminary results indicated that the FoodCycler material met most of the requirements for metals, pathogens and maturity for AA compost in Ontario.

Partial funding for the project is provided through the BLOOM Centre’s Clean Technology Demonstration Program.  Under Bloom Centre program, demonstrations consist of unique collaborative projects involving both a cleantech solution provider and an end-use customer ‘host’ who is representative of the broader sector. In addition, each project includes other strategic partners to support the roll-out and market adoption of the low-carbon cleantech solution following completion of the demonstration.

The outcomes and results of the demonstration project will be used to:

  • Inform stakeholders in the food supply industry that viable cleantech and low carbon solutions are commercially available;
  • Reduce the perceived environmental, economic, and business risks of adopting cleantech solutions;
  • Bridge the ‘adoption gap’ and increase the market demand for cleantech solutions; and
  • Quantify the economic, GHG emission reduction and other environmental and societal benefits from the widespread adoption of cleantech solutions in Ontario.

This is not the first foray into food recycling by Farm Boy Grocery.  In 2017, the company partnered with a company that developed a mobile app, Flashfood, meant to help tackle the enormous environmental issue of food waste, while offering discerning consumers savings on products they would purchase anyway.  It’s the first and only app focused on reducing that food waste by partnering with grocers to sell surplus items at reduced prices.

The Flashfood app allows for grocery stores to post their high-quality, surplus grocery items like prepared meals, breads and dairy before they end up as food waste. As they near their best-before date, Flashfood lists the products at lower prices for them to be purchased instead of thrown out to landfills. Savvy shoppers can buy items through the app and pick them up in store at great prices.

The Farm Boy demonstration project is scheduled to be completed by March 31, 2019.