TransAlta Energy Park located in Sarnia, Ontario will be the new home of a commercial scale biomass to sugar facility operated by Comet Biorefining. The facility is expected to be operational by 2018 and will produce 60 million pounds per year of dextrose sugar from locally sourced corn stover and wheat straw.
Comet, using its proprietary patented process, coverts the biomass into sugar and then the sugar will be converted into biobased products including organic acids, amino acids and bioplastics. The company notes that the biobased products will replace petroleum-based materials, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help Canada reach its climate reduction goals. Comet also says its dextrose is cost and performance competitive with commercial dextrose sugars.
Andrew Richard, CEO of Comet said, “Construction of this first-of-a-kind plant represents a key step towards the large-scale commercialization of our cellulosic sugar business. It highlights the important role our technology plays in the value chain, helping to drive the bioeconomy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
The company says it chose to locate in Sarnia by working together with Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC), the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) and an Ontario farmers’ cooperative on a project to attract sustainable technology providers to the region and to meet increasing demand from chemical suppliers and consumers for low-carbon products.
“Establishing new uses for agricultural residues in the bio-based chemical supply chain leads to sustainable farms and new markets. Both outcomes are primary goals of the OFA, and this project does just that,” added Don McCabe, OFA’s president.