Bioenergy

Bio-oil Business Looks to Canada’s First Nations

Demands from aboriginal communities, also known as First Nations, across Canada for biomass development have been heard. DynaMotive Energy Systems and Potlatch Creations have created an alliance to work for the development of bio-oil projects on aboriginal traditional lands.

Potlatch Creations specializes in consulting services for non-Native businesses interested in working with First Nations communities. Johnna Sparrow-Crawford and Wendy Grant-John will provide DynaMotive with insight into the political and social framework of Native communities. Nearly 80 percent of First Nations across Canada live within the boreal and temperate forest regions, and depend on forest-based activities for survival in the current economy. A convergence of interest between the two companies will provide clean energy opportunities through the production of BioOil, while keeping the communities involved and business in-line with traditional First Nations values. The alliance is designed to facilitate the construction of BioOil plants and pursue advanced environmental technology solutions associated with commercial forestry operations. Production objectives are to produce energy through pyrolysis from logging residues, wood shavings, bark, and sawdust that result from forestry businesses. Pyrolysis extracts oil from plant material by burning biomass in an oxygen free environment, and then cooling the resulting vapors until they condense into an oil form. Gases produced as a side effect of the cooling process can be used to run the systems’ generator, and the biomass residuals become charcoal or tar. “This agreement marks the beginning of a tremendous opportunity for First Nations to be involved, at the community level, in the technology of producing a renewable, environmentally friendly fuel,” said Johnna Sparrow-Crawford, who is the president of Potlatch. “A sustainable energy generation within Native communities will create long-term opportunities with social and economic benefits for all the parties involved.”