University of Saskatchewan researchers developing bioheat from canola meal pellets

January 10, 2022 |

In Canada, after years of meticulous research, University of Saskatchewan researchers’ exploration of canola meal pellets as an eco-friendly alternative to coal and natural gas for both heat and energy is poised to move into its next phases – scaled-up pellet production and commercialization.

In 2019, Canada produced over 18 million metric tons of canola and 10 million tons came from Saskatchewan. The oil extraction process leaves behind canola meal, which is about 60 per cent of the original crop by weight. Some canola meal is exported and about 40 per cent is fed to livestock. The remainder is what Dalai sees as potential biocoal. The challenge is to produce high-quality pellets suitable for storage and transportation to facilities where it can be burned to produce heat and power, he said.

Researchers have been using computed tomography techniques at the Canadian Light Source at USask to examine lab-produced pellets.

His latest research, published in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, demonstrates the optimal amounts of various additives that serve as binders and lubricants to create a canola meal pellet that will not absorb too much moisture or crumble when stored or transported. It is a recipe that is now ready to be tested in the real world.

The team’s pellet-making equipment has arrived and, working with industry partners, they will conduct an economic analysis of the canola meal pellets. 

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Category: Research

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