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World's largest ‘fast pyrolysis’ facility to convert biomass into oil

Canada’s Ensyn Technologies and forestry producer Tolko Industries will build a plant to convert 400 dry tonnes of biomass a day into 85 million litres of pyrolysis oil a year.

The two companies say the C$80 million facility will be built in High Level, Alberta, by their new partnership, High North BioResources Limited Partnership. Subject to regulatory approval, the facility will be operational within 24 months.

The pyrolysis oil will be used to produce renewable energy in the form of electricity and heat that will be used in Tolko's sawmill in High Level. The facility will be capable of producing a renewable resin ingredient that can be used in the manufacture of wood panel products.

“This partnership is a strategic fit for Tolko's existing business,” explains Brad Thorlakson of Tolko. “It is an example of transformative innovation that can benefit the forest products industry and the environment.”

“We are pleased that our technology, which has been developed with the assistance of Canadian government programs from Natural Resources Canada and Sustainable Development Technologies Canada, is continuing to provide economical and environmentally sound solutions in the Canadian bioenergy sector,” adds Robert Graham of Ensyn.

Ensyn's previous joint venture with UOP Honeywell, called Envergent Technologies, will also be involved in the project.

Tolko Industries is a private Canadian-owned producer of lumber, veneer, plywood, oriented strand board, and kraft papers. It was established in 1984 and has seven plants in operation, the largest being one near Ottawa that processes 100 tonnes of wood a day

Ensyn Technologies is involved in fast pyrolysis and the production of pyrolysis oil from forestry and agricultural biomass. It was incorporated in 1984 to commercialize its proprietary biomass to liquid technology, Rapid Thermal Process, and currently provides the world’s only rapid pyrolysis process that has operated on a long-term commercial basis. It also has operations in the United States.

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