Virtual Bioenergy Symposium: July 21, 2021

Join us for our next Virtual Bioenergy Symposium on July 21, 2021 from 12:00-1:00pm MDT with Sandy Marshall, Executive Director of Bioindustrial Innovation Canada.

Register here.

For information on past sessions, visit our symposium archive page.



Sandy Marshall
Executive Director
Bioindustrial Innovation Canada






“Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, creating jobs and economic value sustainably for Canada”

Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) is a nationally focused not-for-profit business accelerator based in Sarnia, Ontario.

BIC is focused on enabling Canada to become globally recognized leaders in sustainability by:

  • converting renewable resources, such as agricultural and forestry by-products and residues, into value-added bioenergy, biofuel, biochemical and biomaterials
  • efficiently using the world’s limited resources (eg. water, energy) through innovative technologies
  • recovering and reusing the world’s limited resources within the circular economy for use in a wide range of commercial applications along the chemistry value chain.​

BIC’s mission is to support highly innovative Canadian firms and large companies to develop and commercialize products and technologies that can transform Canada’s abundant renewable and sustainable resources.  BIC’s vision is creating jobs and economic value while driving towards a sustainable, low carbon circular economy through reduced greenhouse gas emissions and increased resource recovery and reuse.  Net-zero by 2050 is the goal which aligns with Canada’s commitments under the Paris Accord and Canada’s 2030 sustainability targets.

BIC’s strategic plan is built on three pillars:

  1. Attract and Develop Sustainable Companies
  2. Invest in Sustainable Innovation in Canada
  3. Lead Canada’s Transformation to a Net Zero and Sustainable Economy

The session will highlight BIC’s past successes but focus on how BIC can collaborate with its pan-Canadian partners to deliver on its strategic plan for the benefit of Canada.

About Sandy Marshall:

Sandy graduated with Bachelor of Applied Science Degree (BASc) and Masters of Applied Science Degree (MASc) in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.   He started his professional career in 1984 with Polysar Inc., a Canadian rubber manufacturer. Over his 30-year career in the chemical and polymers industry, he worked in research and process, product development and market development before moving into Operations and General Management.  Sandy finished his corporate career as President and Managing Director responsible for Canadian Operations of Lanxess Canada.

Sandy is Executive Director of Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC), Chairman of the External Advisory Board for the Biorefinery Research Institute (BRI) at Lakehead University, Chairman of the Industry Advisory Board for an NSERC Industrial Research Chair at Western University, Member of the Aquatic and Crop Resource Development (ACRD) Advisory Board of National Research Council Canada and member of the Boards of BIOTECanada and Bluewater Power Corporation.

Link to presentation (via YouTube)

Virtual Bioenergy Symposium: June 16, 2021

Join us for our next Virtual Bioenergy Symposium on June 16, 2021 from 12:00-1:00pm MDT with Gord Crawford, Vice President of Engineering at Expander Energy.

Register here.

For information on past sessions, visit our symposium archive page.



Gord Crawford
Vice President of Engineering
Expander Energy




“Expander Low Carbon Intensity Fuel Program”

Gord Crawford, Vice President of Engineering at Expander Energy, will provide a brief overview of their Low Carbon Intensity (CI) Synthetic Fuel Program which will produce Net Zero Carbon Intensity fuels by 2024.

Expander Energy is a Calgary based technology development company which has developed a series of technologies which use natural gas, biomass and renewable electricity to produce Low CI Synthetic Diesel, Jet fuel and Hydrogen.

Recently, Expander Energy announced their plans to build a Biomass/Gas to Liquids plant (BGTL™) in Slave Lake, Alberta. This facility will be the first of its kind in North America and will enable Expander Energy to produce net zero-carbon fuels by 2024.

Gord Crawford has over 30 years of experience in business development, engineering and project management, working on some of the largest projects in the Canadian Energy Industry. Gord has extensive experience building and leading high-performance EPC teams and a strong background in renewable fuels, midstream and downstream production, including syngas generation, biomass gasification, sour gas and sweet gas processing and pipeline engineering. Mr. Crawford is well versed in the clean energy sector and will be overseeing the next phase of commercialization of Expander’s portfolio of patented renewable fuel technologies.

Link to presentation (via YouTube)

Virtual Bioenergy Symposium: May 19, 2021

Join us for our next Virtual Bioenergy Symposium on May 19, 2021 from 12:00-1:00pm MDT featuring Raphael Bohlmann, VP of Marketing from Cielo Waste Solutions.

Register here.

For information on past sessions, visit our symposium archive page.



Raphael Bohlmann
VP of Marketing
Cielo Waste Solutions




“Cielo: A solution to the 3.4 Billion tons of waste per year garbage crisis”

Cielo Waste Solutions is a green company in the ESG sector transforming garbage into highly sought-after renewable fuels to reduce carbon and greenhouse gases. Cielo does both in their proprietary patented process. The planet has a garbage crisis and garbage is the #1 producer of these harmful GHG’s. Cielo’s solution reduces garbage in an attempt to get to ZWTL (zero waste to landfill) while producing a renewable fuel for transportation diesel, marine fuel and aviation/jet fuel.

Raphael Bohlmann has 25+ years of corporate experience in marketing and management with building and developing teams within companies. Mr. Bohlmann, a critical thinker, has full comprehension of all marketing tools and initiatives including brand and strategy solutions.

Link to presentation (via YouTube)

Virtual Bioenergy Symposium: April 21, 2021

Join us for our next Virtual Bioenergy Symposium on April 21, 2021 from 12:00-1:00pm MDT featuring Jordan Solomon, President and CEO of Ecostrat.

Register here.

For information on past sessions, visit our symposium archive page.



Jordan Solomon
President and CEO






“The BDO Zone Initiative: Driving Bio-based Economic Development and Unlocking Project Finance in Alberta

The Bioeconomy Development Opportunity Zone Initiative enables communities to powerfully leverage biomass assets to serve as anchors for clean energy economic development.

BDO Zones are force-multipliers for de-risking and attracting investment into new plants that produce sustainable aviation fuel and advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals, biogas, and other biobased products.

BDO Zone risk ratings drive renewable energy investment and create clean energy jobs. They help stand up new biobased production plants that decrease GHGs in a meaningful way. They help secure our Canadian clean energy future.

This webinar will discuss the BDO Zone Initiative and the first BDO Designation of the City of Melville, Saskatchewan in January 2021.

For more information go to

About Jordan Solomon:

Jordan R. Solomon has held the position of President and CEO of Ecostrat for over 20 years where he oversees the Biomass Advisory Group and the Biomass Supply Group. His responsibilities include new project origination, evaluation and commercialization, corporate strategy and team support. His areas of expertise include biomass supply chain risk-assessment and feedstock risk rating, project finance, feedstock origination, contracting, and risk mitigation.

As head of Ecostrat’s Advisory Group, Jordan led the development of the new Canadian and US Standards for Biomass Supply Chain Risk (BSCR) which was recently accredited by the SCC and the CSA as a National Standard of Canada. He has led M&A due diligence advisory teams focusing on feedstock supply and risk for JP Morgan, Shell, Coca-Cola, Siemens, Enviva, NREL, DTE Energy, CitiBank, Macquarie Bank, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Southern Company, Rentech, Noresco, EDF, Sweetwater, Solvay, McKinstry, LaFarge, PGE, Eastman, Johnson Control, and National Bank of Canada.

As head of Ecostrat’s Biomass Supply Group, Jordan has overseen development and operation of biomass supply chains for over 5,000,000 tons of biomass and organic feedstock over two decades for biogas, bioenergy, biofuel, and biochemical projects. He has negotiated, structured supply chains, financed and executed bulk shipments of biomass overseas to Europe and Asia.

He has previously served on the Board of First Asset Renewable Power FlowThrough Limited Partnership as a Director of First Asset Power Funds Inc. (I, II, III, IV) and on the Board of Directors of the public Special Purpose Acquisition Corporation (SPAC) Dundee Acquisition Ltd. (TSX: DAQ.UN). He currently sits on the Bioenergy Feedstock National User Facility Advisory Board (Idaho National Laboratory / US Department of Energy), on the Clean Fuel Steering Committee (CFSC) Solid Fuels Sub-Working Group to identify measures required to increase investment in the domestic production of clean fuels and for successful implementation of Canada’s Clean Fuel Standard, and on the CSA Transition & Sustainable Finance Committee to create national investment standards to incentivize sustainability performance.

Jordan holds a B.A. Honors (Eng. Phil.) from University of Western and a Masters in Environmental Studies with a specialty in Corporate Environmental Strategy from York University.

Link to presentation (via YouTube)

Virtual Bioenergy Symposium: March 17, 2021

Join us for our next Virtual Bioenergy Symposium on March 17, 2021 from 12:00-1:00pm MDT featuring Sylvain Bertrand, CEO of Airex Energy.

Register here.

For information on past sessions, visit our symposium archive page.



Sylvain Bertrand
Airex Energy






“Bringing innovation to market : Biomass torrefaction technology

Airex Energy is among the few leaders worldwide that has successfully developed and commissioned a biomass torrefaction plant with an annual capacity of 15,000 tons/year. The technology platform developed by Airex transforms sawmill by-products, forestland waste and agricultural residues into value-added carbonized products. The presentation will introduce the innovative cyclonic bed reactor at the heart of the torrefaction technology, as well as various products and applications. It will also uncover the strategy used by Airex to successfully raise seed capital in the clean tech industry. A brief overview of the projects currently being developed will also be presented.

About Sylvain Bertrand: 

Mr. Bertrand joined Airex Industries in 2011 to work on the development of the torrefaction technology. In 2014, Airex Energy was spined-off from its parent company to raise venture capital and scale-up the technology. Mr. Bertrand has been Chief Executive Officer of Airex Energy since inception.

Prior to joining Airex, he acted as chief advisor for AbitibiBowater’s development and energy strategy, where he was responsible for developing new biofuel initiatives. He also served as investment director at Multiple Capital and Innovatech du Grand Montréal, a venture-capital fund specialized in tech startups.

Mr Bertrand holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Polytechnique Montréal, a Master of Energy Engineering for Industrial Equipment acquired in Toulouse, France and an MBA from HEC Montréal.

Link to presentation (via Youtube)

Annual Policy Forum with BioAlberta: March 3-4

BioAlberta‘s Annual Policy Forum is bringing key stakeholders together to discuss how we can advance our life sciences sector.

This Policy Forum features industry and government speakers from across the health and life science ecosystem. See the full agenda lineup and reserve your spot by registering here.

Clean Fuel Standard: Fueling Conversation – February 17, 2021

Biomass Energy Network (BEN) and BC Bioenergy Network (BCBN) have partnered to present another panel discussion titled – “Clean Fuel Standard: Fueling Conversation”.

The discussion will take place from 9:00am – 12:00pm PST / 10:00am – 1:00pm MST on Wednesday, February 17th.

The event will feature two panels. The first panel: ‘Enhancing the Policy Blueprint’, will apply a policy lens to the Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) with the objective of enhancing stakeholder submissions to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) prior to the March 4th deadline. The discussion will incorporate diverse perspectives to inform smart policy development that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and mitigates climate change.

The second panel of the event: ‘Economic Stimulus and Investment from the CFS’, will provide an industry perspective on the CFS and similar programs, with an emphasis on how such policies will work to stimulate and impact investment in the industrial ecosystem, as well as their limitations and drawbacks

This event is a continuation of the previous Clean Fuel Standard panel discussion at the “Opportunities for Advanced Liquid Biofuels in Western Canada” event on November 25th, 2020. If you missed it, the event can be viewed here.

Register now and add this event to your calendar!

View the impact statement for the CFS draft regulations in the Canada Gazette.

Virtual Bioenergy Symposium: January 20, 2021

Join us for our next Virtual Bioenergy Symposium on January 20, 2021 from 12:00-1:00pm MST featuring David Lynch from Enerkem.

Register here.

For information on past sessions, visit our symposium archive page.



David Lynch
General Manager, Research and Development






“Enerkem Carbon Recycling:  Beyond Biofuels

Enerkem is well established as a global leader and technology provider for the manufacturing of biofuels and renewable chemical products from non-recyclable waste and biomass.  The Enerkem technology is an innovative and sustainable solution for waste management, energy diversification, and the implementation of a circular economy.  The presentation will look at the application of the Enerkem technology for global biofuels production as well as use of the Enerkem technology platform that readily produces chemical intermediates to address changing market conditions.

About David Lynch: 

At Enerkem, Mr. Lynch manages pilot integration and testing that has provided data-driven support for Enerkem’s commercial process design.  Mr. Lynch orchestrated the bench scale development of Enerkem’s methanol-to-ethanol process and has established pilot and laboratory facilities in Edmonton, AB.

Mr. Lynch is an Energy Futures Lab Fellow building on more than 20 years of industry experience, where he advanced development and scale up of various new products and manufacturing processes.

He holds a Master of Science degree in Management of Technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Fairfield University.

Link to presentation (via YouTube)

Virtual Bioenergy Symposium: December 16, 2020

Register here.

For information on past sessions, visit our symposium archive page.



Dr. Jorge Aburto
Project Leader and Head of Biomass Conversion Division
Mexican Petroleum Institute






“Bioenergy Initiatives of the Mexican Petroleum Institute”

The Mexican Petroleum Institute (IMP) is a national research institute on petroleum, gas and bioenergy. IMP also brings technical support to PEMEX, the national oil company, as well as other energy industries in Mexico and abroad. IMP is dedicated also to consulting to the Mexican Energy Secretariat’s (SENER), other governmental offices and private companies.

IMP has been working on different bioenergy initiatives that will be presented:

  • Production of green diesel and bio jet fuel through the HEFA process
  • Production of biobased chemicals for the transport of heavy and extra-heavy oil through pipeline
  • Techno-economic studies for the generation of thermal and electricity power to agroindustries.

About Dr. Jorge Aburto:

Dr. Jorge Aburto holds a B.Sc. in Food Chemistry from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM); the Diplôme d’Études Approfondies (DEA) and Ph.D. from National Polytechnique Institute of Toulouse (INPT), France; and was visiting Researcher in the AgroBiotechnology Institute (IFA-Tulln) from the Agricultural University of Vienna (BOKU), Austria.

Dr. Jorge Aburto is Researcher at the Mexican Petroleum Institute (IMP) since 2000 and he is actually Project Leader and Head of Biomass Conversion Division and in charge of the Division of Energy Efficiency and Sustainability. Dr. Aburto’s main research areas are bio-based chemicals and materials for applications in the petroleum industry, biomass deconstruction and conversion, production of lignocellulosic ethanol, on-road and aviation fuels, enzyme kinetics and applications to the oil industry, petroleum biorefining, precipitation inhibitors of asphaltenes, and petroleum pipelining through O/W emulsions. He is Author of several international articles, book chapters, and patent applications and patents. He participated in the awarded biorefinery project by the 2016 silver prize PRODETES category recognized by Mexico´s Energy Secretariat (SENER), the World Bank and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). Likewise, Dr. Aburto has graduated 32 Bachelor of Science, 3 Master of Science and 2 Doctorate students. Currently, Dr. Aburto is part of the Academic Technical Council of the Bioenergy Thematic Network sponsored by CONACyT, is technical leader in the IMP of the Mexican Center for Bioenergy Innovation (CEMIE BIO), clusters of biojet fuel and solid biofuels. He is currently a Level II National Researcher recognized by SNI-CONACyT. Dr. Aburto was designated Mission Innovation Champion of Mexico by the Mission Innovation Initiative in 2019 by his contribution and vision on Bioenergy development and deployment in Mexico.

Link to presentation (via YouTube)

Alberta Innovates Two-Part Bioeconomy Webinar Series: November 26 and December 3

Join Alberta Innovates for their FREE two-part webinar in their INVENTURE$ Unbound Connect Series, focusing on the bioeconomy:

Nov. 26:  10 a.m. – 11 a.m. MT – Introduction to Biomass Feedstock Supply Chain Management

On Day 1, Nov. 26, they will introduce you to supply-chain basics and the Canadian Biomass Supply Chain Risk (BSCR) Standards, a critical tool for investment decisions.

  1. Biomass Supply Chain Basics, presented by Michael LeungConsultant to BioAlberta.
  2. Driving Bio-Based Investment in Alberta: Leveraging Canada’s New Standards for Biomass Supply Chain Risk with the BD Zone Initiative, presented by Jordan Solomon, President, Ecostrat

Dec. 3:  9 a.m. – 11 a.m. MT – Alberta Showcase

Alberta Innovates is pleased to present these two follow-up sessions on Day 2, Dec. 3:

Session 1 – Managing biomass supply, a first-hand experience:

  1. Under Construction: Building Alberta’s hemp feedstock supply chain from the ground up, presented by Aaron Barr Director, Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance and CEO of Canadian Rockies Hemp

Session 2 – Two innovative, made-in-Alberta digital tools that could be applied to developing and managing biomass supply chain:

  1. BRIMS – A geospatial information system (GIS) tool for regional feedstock resource mapping in Alberta, presented by Scott Wilson, Resource Analyst, Silvacom
  2. A Success Story: A digital platform’s critical role in  Canada’s Sustainable Beef Initiative, presented by Tom Ogaranko, Chief Innovation Officer, TrustBIX