Turning waste into a new energy source – bio-oil

Researchers at NRCan’s CanmetENERGY centre are working with Canadian industry to tap the potential of pyrolysis. This new technology sector involves the chemical decomposition of organic materials at high temperatures.

Much industrial waste, such as that produced by agriculture and logging, is a perfect candidate for pyrolysis, which converts waste into a liquid product called bio-oil or pyrolytic oil. The process itself is straightforward, but the challenge is exploring the potential uses of the end product.

“We now have the ability to produce this oil, but it still has to have practical applications,” says Brian Farnand, a director of science and technology at CanmetENERGY. “What we now have to do is figure out how to give it that added value.”

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