Biorefinery Technology Scale-Up Centre


Serving as a link between Science and Industry

Since 2000, the CCNB has developed - in the northwestern region of New Brunswick - different innovative practices by collaborating on initiatives in the fields of composting, new food product development and fuel ethanol production from potato waste. In 2010, the CCNB received a five-year, $2.3 million grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to set up a biorefinery technology scale-up centre (BTSC) for the entire Atlantic region. The institution also received financial support from the New Brunswick Economic Development Department, the New Brunswick Department of Energy and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) to purchase equipment for pilot scale processes.

Its mandate

The BTSC research team working at the Grand Falls site of the CCNB supports the industry in its bioproduct promotion efforts. The team uses microbial fermentation, enzymatic hydrolysis, bioseparation and chemical process technologies to produce high value-added industrial bioproducts (including bioethanol, biogas, biodiesel and alcoholic beverages) from forest, agricultural and marine biomasses as well as from industrial and municipal wastes.

The centre gives college and university researchers as well as companies the opportunity to test their product or process at near-production scale thus validating their technologies before undertaking commercial production or negotiating the value of their technology with a licensee. Furthermore, the centre has mobile pre-commercial equipment that can be used by its staff of biorefinery experts to demonstrate innovative processes to the industry. In this way, the centre helps to reduce the potential financial risks of adopting new technologies.

Services offered throughout Atlantic Canada

  • Developing new processes and technologies;
  • Demonstrating processes and technologies;
  • Completing pre-market assessment of concepts;
  • Providing technological support;
  • Providing specialized analysis  for hops, malt, beer, spirits and others;
  • Training employees of a company on the use of technology for the biofermentation of wastes from the forestry, agricultural, marine, industrial and municipal sectors.

Our areas of expertise

  • Enzymatic, physical and chemical hydrolysis of forest, agricultural and marine biomass as well as industrial and municipal wastes into sugars;
  • Fermentation;
  • Purification of biochemical products by distillation, filtration, evaporation, lyophilization, etc.
  • Bioproduct development through the extraction of sugars, proteins, oils, antioxidants, etc.;
  • Production of alcoholic beverages and analysis of their components (water, yeast, grain, hops, malt, beer and spirits).

Analysis equipment and processes

Laboratory analysis

  • High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC-DAD)
  • Gas chromatograph (GC-FID-MS)
  • Spectrophotometers (NIR, UV)
  • Densitometers
  • Titrators
  • Kjeldahl (apparatus used to measure the level of nitrogen in an organic compound)
  • High-resolution microscopes with camera
  • Sensors (dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, etc.)

Medium scale production apparatus

  • Ankom system (biomethane potential test)
  • Bioreactors/fermenters (2L, 4L, 40L)
  • Roto-evaporator
  • Centrifuges (in batch or continuous)
  • Reverse osmosis system
  • GEA filtration systems (reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration)
  • Incubators (-20 °C to 80 °C)
  • Plate filtration
  • Micromalter (12 units of 1 kg)
  • Mash Bath (10 evaluation units)
  • Microbrewery (Sabco 50 L)
  • Bottling apparatus
  • Distillation systems (20 L)
  • Pot still (50 L)
  • Crop preservation system (freezer -80 °C and lyophilizer)
  • Steam fractionation system (woody biomass pre-treatment)

Mobile pre-commercial production laboratories  ̶  Unique in Atlantic Canada!

  • Fermentation and distillation system (1000 L)
  • Biodiesel production system (40 L)
  • Biogas production system (150 kg capacity)

Annual Atlantic Canada Biorefinery Conference

Since 2012, the CCNB has organized, in collaboration with BioNB and Springboard Atlantic Inc., an annual Atlantic Canada biorefinery conference. The conference, that moves from province to province, already attracts over one hundred participants and contributes in promoting the biorefinery concept as well as its economic and environmental potential in the Atlantic region. The annual conference brings together renowned speakers, includes site visits and encourages dialogue in order to explore, in Atlantic Canada, innovative conversion options of different biomass sources into value-added products for the global market.

Students, researchers and entrepreneurs can discuss projects and business opportunities during business-to-business meetings organized outside the program.

The conference promoters aim to increase the number of businesses that use or produce biomass. They seek to raise the industry's and the research sector's awareness to research project opportunities as well as biorefinery and bioenergy industrial services.

Examples of projects

  • Carbon dioxide conversion for the production of microalgae in the biogas production process
  • Buckwheat malt production
  • Valorisation of sap water in maple syrup production
  • Purification and conversion of forest waste hemicellulose and lignin
  • Development of value-added products from algae residue
  • Commercial scale biogas production
  • Chitosan extraction from non-crustacean sources
  • Hop and barley quality analysis in the Atlantic region for beer brewing
  • Production of ethanol from expired beverages

You have a project in mind? Contact us!

Biorefinery Technology Scale-Up Centre
160, Reservoir Street
Grand Falls (New Brunswick) E3Y 3W3
Phone: 506-475-2424
Fax: 506-475-4030