Waste Timber from Diamond Mine to Be Used for Ethanol
by Matthew Liebenberg (Nipawin Journal) Timber that will be cleared from the proposed Shore Gold diamond mine site in the Fort à la Corne forest will be processed and converted into cellulose ethanol at a future green fuel facility in Nipawin.
The signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to make waste timber from Saskatchewan’s first diamond mine available to one of the first facilities in the world that will convert cellulose into ethanol took place at the Nipawin Evergreen Centre on Tuesday afternoon, June 21.
…Approximately 4,250 hectares, which is less than four per cent of the Fort à la Corne forest area, will have to be cleared as part of the preparation for the mining operation.
The cleared timber would consist of both merchantable wood suitable for milling and waste wood commonly referred to as “slash”. Cline said Shore Gold is very pleased that the waste wood would be converted into green energy.
“It would be probably piled up and go to waste if nothing else was done with it,” he mentioned. “But it just so happens that Nipawin Biomass is going to be looking for that kind of material to make into ethanol, so it’s a great partnership to pursue.”
…Nipawin Biomass and the Saskatchewan Research Council have jointly developed a proprietary catalytic conversion technology to convert synthesis gas from waste wood and waste farm fibre, such as flax fibre or straw, into ethanol and other alcohols. The proposed ethanol plant will require approximately 200,000 oven dried metric tonnes of cellulosic fibre per year, of which approximately two-thirds would come from forest waste product.
The first user of this catalytic conversion technology will be Nipawin Biomass’ partner in the United States, Fulcrum BioEnergy.