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Catalyst paper mill to demo $6.12M biogas plant

Catalyst Paper Corp. is testing an anaerobic digestion technology as part of a $6.12 million demonstration project that will turn some of the effluent produced at its Crofton pulp and paper mill into renewable energy.


December 13, 2010
by PLANT STAFF

Control room at Catalyst Paper’s Crofton pulp and paper mill.

Photo: Catalyst Paper

VANCOUVER: Catalyst Paper Corp. is testing an anaerobic digestion technology as part of a $6.12 million demonstration project that will turn some of the effluent produced at its Crofton pulp and paper mill into renewable energy.

The fully automated and transportable demonstration plant includes a MicroSludge unit, sludge thickening equipment, anaerobic digesters and a laboratory.

Paradigm Environmental Technologies, developer of the MicroSludge process, said the technology has already been applied at municipal wastewater treatment plants.

The pulp and paper plant located in Crofton on Vancouver Island employs 490 people and operates three paper machines and two pulp machines to produce newsprint, directory paper and kraft pulp.

“We’re optimistic that by enabling much faster anaerobic digestion, MicroSludge will prove to be an economically viable and sustainable waste-to-energy process for the pulp and paper industry,” said Gordon Skene, president of the Vancouver-based Paradigm.

The MicroSludge process liquefies waste activated sludge (WAS), boosting the speed that anaerobic digesters convert it into biogas.

The plant will process a portion of Catalyst Paper’s sludge to demonstrate how it can be turned into biogas that could be used as a renewable source of energy. Operations at the mill will measure operating savings at full scale.

Equipment installation is scheduled for early 2011 and the demonstration trial will last about 15 months. The plant will then be moved to other pulp mills for further trials.

Project funding is coming from several sources. The BC Bioenergy Network, a provincially funded supporter of BC’s bioenergy sector, is providing $1.5 million, $2.5 million is coming from Natural Resources Canada and the BC Ministry of Forests and Range is providing $1 million.

In-kind contributions have also been committed by Elemental Energy Inc., Paradigm Environmental Technologies, Catalyst Paper and FPInnovations.

Elemental Energy is a Vancouver-based sustainable power company. FPInnovations is a non-profit research and development firm based in Pointe-Claire, Que. that’s involved in optimizing the forest sector value chain.
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