Centre of Excellence

We are committed to innovation and continuous improvement – it is the key to our prosperity.

We have extensive operational experience combined with the in-house expertise to design and execute major capital projects. Typically, we have about 20 projects in the queue at various stages of development to: (1) improve our core business by creating new value-added products to optimize production and reduce costs; and (2) develop next generation technologies to process non-traditional feedstocks.

In May 2008, our Centre of Excellence in Engineering, Technology, and Research and Development (‘Centre’) opened in Chatham, Ontario. The Centre has extensive analytical testing and pilot facilities and is typically staffed with 15 Engineers, Scientists, Project Managers, Technicians and Operators, referred to as our Greenfield Engineering & Technology (‘GET’) Team. Our research facility occupies 10,000 square feet and includes a complete laboratory, as well as indoor and outdoor continuous process plants for biomass conditioning, pretreatment, hydrolysis and fermentation.

The Centre is the origin and home of our proprietary Cellulosic Ethanol Division where we developed our proprietary ‘Modified Twin Screw Extruder’ equipment technology and cellulosic biomass pretreatment process technology which were incorporated into and validated at our Continuous Pilot Plant onsite.

Two scientists standing in the lab
Two scientists seated in the lab

1st Generation Corn Ethanol Research and Innovation

1st Generation research and innovation involves increasing revenues by creating new value-added products – and reducing costs through improved yields and process efficiencies.

Integrating Advanced Technologies to Optimize Our Ethanol Production

Some of the GET Team’s achievements and current efforts include:

  • Adaptation of selective grind technology to increase yield and efficiency

  • Company-wide integration of Advanced Control Systems & Multi Variable Analysis

  • Distillation optimization with respect to energy, production and yield

  • Investigating new hydrolysis and fermentation technologies to reduce energy cost and continuously improve the bio-refinery process

Developing New Technologies and Business Models Extending from our Ethanol Production

Some of the GET Team’s achievements and current efforts include:

  • Integrating the Chatham, Ontario ethanol facility with a commercial greenhouse that utilizes the ethanol plant’s carbon dioxide and waste heat to produce larger tomatoes with less energy, see link www.trulygreenfarms.ca/

  • Integration of proprietary anaerobic digestion of industrial waste streams to produce biofuels. Novel technology changing the way people think about waste management
  • Backend high value oil extraction
  • Utilizing CO2 stream to produce green drop-in fuels and chemicals
  • Cogen adaptation and expansion
  • Compressed Natural Gas production & delivery
  • Front end fractionation of corn by-products into high value human food ingredients

2nd Generation Cellulosic Research and Innovation

2nd Generation research and innovation involves developing new technologies that can process non-traditional lignocellulosic feedstocks or optimize other industrial processes. Today, the GET Team’s principal focus is to complete the development of our proprietary pretreatment process technology as well as our ‘Modified Twin Screw Extruder’ equipment.

Novel Pretreatment System to Produce Advanced Biofuels and Other Bio-Based Chemicals from Cellulosic Feedstocks

Solid/Liquid Separation & Dewatering Equipment Technology for Other Industrial Applications