Other renewables
The equipment used to maintan Ontario's Bruce Trail (which runs from Niagara to Tobermory) leaves a significant environmental footprint. Enter Canada’s soybean farmers and renewable, green lubricant products made from plant-based oils. | READ MORE

September 22, 2015 - A new vegetable oil-based multi-purpose lubricant for sale in Canada is about to become a bit more local.

Sept. 16, 2015 - Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions (AI Bio) has launched a new funding program - Alberta Bio Future, Research and Innovation - aimed at advancing knowledge that accelerates growth of new bioindustrial products or bioindustrial technologies for the benefit of Albertans.

Discovery and developmental research are strategic priorities of Alberta Bio Future (ABF) – AI Bio's flagship bioindustrial program.

Bioindustrial products from Alberta – derived from sustainable agricultural or forest biomass – are already being used in several sectors, including the personal care, chemical and energy industries, as well as construction and manufacturing. These bioproducts are helping to meet the world's growing demand for 'green' solutions; they have desirable qualities for the manufacture of goods and materials while also being environmentally friendly.

"Alberta is a prime location for a thriving bioeconomy. We have abundant, renewable agriculture and forest resources, advanced infrastructure and highly qualified personnel," noted Steve Price, CEO of Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions. "But this is an emerging field into new areas of science. More investigation is required to increase basic knowledge, and to learn how to take concepts out of the lab and turn them into new industrial bioproducts and biotechnologies."

The ABF Research and Innovation program has a total $4.5 million in available funding. Project funding amounts will be determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the quality and scope of the project. In addition to funding, AI Bio assists researchers and companies with advice and connections.

Researchers, companies or industry groups based in Alberta, and researchers conducting projects that benefit Alberta, are invited to apply by submitting a Letter of Intent. The deadline is Oct. 28, 2015 at 4 p.m. MT. Eligibility requirements and other important details are available here.


At the scale of an atomic microscope it has become possible to package molecules that, in water, won’t clump up but will disperse evenly. What if that could be done with the active ingredients in weed control products?
Aug. 20, 2013, Guelph, Ont. – A value chain consortium has presented its final report to local corn producers on a business case for sustaining a commercially viable cellulosic sugar plant in southwestern Ontario to support the future production of green chemicals.

The objective of the study was to examine the costs associated with the harvest, aggregation and delivery of corn stalks to a commercial plant and to determine the most viable business model to enable producers to capture a greater share of the value chain while offering a commercial facility stable feedstock supply.

The study, according to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, demonstrated:
  • the region could supply cornstalks and other biomass crops at competitive rates;
  • more than 250,000 tonnes of cornstalks could be aggregated for a cellulosic sugar facility; and
  • a bioprocessing cooperative model where agricultural producers are both feedstock suppliers and co-investors in the processing infrastructure was the most viable structure examined, benefiting everyone in the value chain.

The report was prepared by researchers at the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus.

The consortium was represented by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Grain Farmers of Ontario, AGRIS Co-operative, Ontario AgriFood Technologies, BioIndustrial Innovation Centre, Midori Renewables, BioAmber and LANXESS covering the full value chain from feedstock producers to biochemical plants. Bother federal and provincial officials participated in an advisory capacity.
June 28, 2013, Guelph, Ont. – Ontario cornfields could one day be the source of not only food, feed and fuel but also eco-friendly paints, age-defying super-moisturizers and non-toxic drug treatments — all thanks to tiny particles discovered in a University of Guelph lab, writes AtGuelph. | READ MORE
These days, dry beans that get broken or cracked during combining or cleaning are culled from the food stream and put into low-value uses. But Ontario researchers are working on an exciting, environmentally friendly, higher-value opportunity for bean culls – bean bioplastic!
Picture this – futuristic metal posts dotting your fields, each one supporting a state-of-the-art biopesticide station. Sensors on each station monitor for insects, and when the presence of pests is detected, mating disruption pheromones are automatically released. These biopesticides, tailored to the type of pest and the population levels that are present, disrupt the life cycle of the pest in a safe and measured manner.

Aug. 30, 2012 - Wal-Mart has joined other Fortune 500 companies in seeking to make agriculture more sustainable.

Accoring to Reuters, Wal-Mart will be the first retailer in the Field to Market alliance, which works with farmers to make agriculture as environmentally friendly as possible.

"We have pretty ambitious goals to sell products that are sustainable and this is directly within that framework," said Rob Kaplan, Wal-Mart's senior manager of sustainability.

For more on Wal-Mart joining the alliance, please see the complete article at Reuters and the Field to Market Alliance.

June 11, 2012, Guelph, ON – A new vegetable oil-based multi-purpose lubricant is now available for sale in Canada. Smart Earth Corporation’s new EcoLube product was developed in Canada by Linneaus Plant Sciences Inc. as a green substitute for popular lubricant and penetrant products like WD-40. Its plant-based ingredients make it an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional petroleum-based products.

“This is the first lubricant product of this type developed by Linneaus Plant Science and we’re excited at what the future potential of this market might mean for the Canadian soybean industry,” says Jeff Schmalz, President of Soy 20/20. “We estimate this petroleum-based category segment to be around $40 million annually and the goal is to ultimately capture 10 – 20 per cent or more of that volume with environmentally friendly alternatives. And there are other segments within the category that represent incremental profitable opportunities for bio-based alternatives too.”

Soy 20/20, with funding support from Grain Farmers of Ontario and Linnaeus, helped shepherd the product through several stages of commercialization, including branding, packaging, production, marketing and business development. Soy 20/20 is now working with Smart Earth Corporation, based in Guelph, to develop a Canadian retail presence for Ecolube. Industrial bio-products like lubricants represent a growing market opportunity for Canadian farmers who grow soybeans and other oilseeds, as consumers are increasingly seeking environmentally friendly products made from renewable resources.  

“Our mandate is to help grow the market for Canadian soybeans and in this case, we were pleased to work with industry to bring a product from concept through to commercialization,” says Schmalz.  

“Soy 20/20 has provided fantastic commercialization assistance for Smart Earth Ecolube. We are excited to continue our working relationship as we develop a retail presence in Ontario,” adds Linnaeus owner Jack Grushcow.

Mar. 21, 2012 - Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) is neither surprised nor concerned that electricity prices from renewable sources under the Feed-in tariff (FIT) are expected to drop by at least 25%.

The Government of Ontario has demonstrated leadership by passing the Green Energy and Green Economy Act (GEA) and should aggressively leverage its smart investment, maximizing ratepayer benefit while strengthening the emerging green economy.

The prices paid for renewable energy under the FIT are based on a "cost plus a reasonable return on investment" model.  The scheduled two-year review of the FIT program was always intended to transparently adjust prices as costs fell.

By 2014, Ontario will phase out all of its remaining coal and by 2016, 25.62 TerraWatt hours (25,620,000,000 kWh) of power will need to be replaced as four of the province's 20 nuclear reactors come to the end of their lives.  There are options for replacing this power generation and almost all are cheaper than rebuilding Darlington nuclear facilities.

A portfolio of sustainable energy, options including: conservation, FIT procured renewables, combined heat and power (CHP) and potentially water power imports from Quebec, represents a real bargain both environmentally and economically.

The two-year review and revitalization of the FIT program has always been in the cards. It shouldn't be delayed - it is time for Ontarians to move forward and seize the opportunity!

Background - How and Why Renewable Energy is critical to affordable energy

Contrary to rhetoric espoused by some, a portfolio of sustainable energy (conservation, CHP, water power imports and FIT procured renewables) is the cheapest option as we rebuild and reinvest in our long neglected electricity grid and replace our retiring coal and nuclear.  For electricity buying Ontarians, more important than the FIT review is challenging the assumption that an expensive rebuild of our nuclear plants is necessary. 

In just over two years Ontario's FIT, combined with growing global demand for renewable energy has driven down the cost of renewable energy generating technology.

Renewable power under the FIT program with its fixed twenty-year contract will keep the average price of power lower in Ontario as we begin to invest and to pay for fuel costs associated with new natural gas and nuclear power.

To ensure this investment in the future is not burdensome, Ontarians need to continue building upon their conservation efforts - after all the lowest cost power is the power we don't use. A renewed focus on energy conservation will lead to businesses, homeowners and industry consuming less and saving on their bills.

Dec. 12, 2011 -It may not be new to most farmers, but the US Department of Energy is actively promoting the concept of "Feedstock Logistics," a campaign to introduce biomass feedstocks as well as create added value opportunities from crop residues. In this case, a single-pass harvester is being showcased, which can gather corn stover and bale the feedstock for shipping to a processor.     READ MORE
Oct. 26, 2011 -Add 2,4-D to the growing list of active ingredients to which waterhemp is resistant.  Researchers in Nebraska have now confirmed 2,4-D resistance in the state, meaning there are now six different herbicide groups, including glyphosate and ALS inhibitors, that have diminished efficacy against waterhemp. In one field, the weed was 10 times more tolerant to 2,4-D than non-resistant types.   READ MORE
In the wake of a successful test-flight of a Japanese Airlines jet using camelina-based fuel last January, Sustainable Oils announced today it has closed its contracts for camelina, with growers across the southern Prairies signing up.
An environmentally safe, biodegradable product that has been used for years to clean and sterilize is being used to do the same thing for potatoes. StorOx, an activated peroxygen chemistry (APC), controls tuber rot, bacterial soft rot and silver scurf on potatoes before and during storage.
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