Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada
Government of Canada

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Network legacy: Biofuelnet - BFN

Funded 2012-2017

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Number of partners

Partner contributions
$21 million

McGill University, Montréal, Quebec

Building an advanced Canadian biofuels industry

Canada holds enormous potential for sustainable biofuel production. Its vast quantities of agricultural and forestry waste, plus municipal solid waste, provide the raw materials needed to produce a sustainable, clean fuel that reduces net greenhouse gas emissions relative to conventional fossil fuel. Energy crops, such as poplar and switchgrass, grown on marginal lands are another promising source of biomass for biofuel production. Advanced biofuels could enable Canada to meet its current federal ethanol blending mandate (5% ethanol blended into gasoline) with a home-grown, non-food alternative to U.S. corn ethanol imports. A national effort is under way to ensure that biofuels can be produced sustainably, economically and in large enough quantities to supply a significant proportion of Canada’s fuel needs.

Among the results

  • As part of Canada’s Biojet Supply Chain Initiative (CBSCI), BFN, Air Canada and 12 other stakeholder organizations are assessing the feasibility, cost and environmental impact of establishing biojet fuel supply chains at key locations across the country. CBSCI aims to introduce 400,000 litres of sustainable aviation biofuel into a shared fuel system at Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.
  • BFN’s Advanced Biofuels Symposium has become Canada’s largest advanced biofuels event, gathering more than 300 participants from research, industry and government to discuss the development of the Canadian biofuels sector.
  • As part of its second phase of research, BFN funded ten research and commercialization projects in advanced biofuels, which are produced from non-food materials. The $8.5 million in funding targets strategic areas such as aviation and forestry-based biofuels.
  • BFN participated in Talk Energy Week 2016, with nine speakers presenting in eight cities during the campaign’s Speaker Series. BFN also sent educational kits about biofuels to grade 11 and 12 teachers across Canada.