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


Opportunities for Advanced Liquid Biofuels in Western Canada: November 25, 2020

Biomass Energy Network (BEN) and BC Bioenergy Network (BCBN) have partnered to present a two-panel discussion on advanced liquid biofuels.

The event will take place from 9am to 11:30am PST/10am to 12:30pm MST on Wednesday, November 25th.

The Canadian government’s release of the Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) is anticipated to facilitate innovation and the development of new technologies and fuel streams to support compliance. The proposed regulations for liquid fuels in the CFS pose an opportunity for advanced liquid biofuels throughout the nation. Western Canada has abundant agricultural and forestry resources, along with industrial and technical expertise that could be leveraged to promote innovation in the liquid biofuels space. To address this opportunity, the event will feature two panels:

1) Clean Fuel Standard: An Opportunity to Grow the Bioeconomy

2) Breaking Down Feedstock Supply

The first panel will discuss how the CFS will require innovation to support compliance and change in markets. As overarching policy, the CFS will create a new environment that will demand new fuel types and lower carbon fuels. As Western Canada is abundant in biomass and technical capability, how do we seize this opportunity to grow the bioeconomy?

The second panel will discuss feedstock supply chains and their impact on the liquid fuels space in Western Canada. This panel will outline existing obstacles within feedstock supply chains and discuss promising and innovative solutions that could assist in addressing such obstacles.

Download the program here.

View the replay here.

Virtual Bioenergy Symposium: November 18, 2020

Our next monthly symposium guest is Dr. Ataullah Khan Mohammed, Senior Research Scientist and Technical Lead within Bioindustrial Services at InnoTech Alberta. On November 18 from 12:00-1:00pm MST, he’ll be joining us to discuss innovative bio-product development opportunities at InnoTech Alberta.

Register here.

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



Dr. Ataullah Khan Mohammed
Senior Research Scientist & Technical Lead
Bioindustrial Services
InnoTech Alberta






“Innovative Bio-Product Development Opportunities at InnoTech Alberta”

As one of Canada’s premier applied research organizations, InnoTech Alberta (a subsidiary of the Alberta Innovates family) has a long and established history associated with transforming the energy, agriculture, environment, forestry and manufacturing sectors of the province. The Bio-Industrial R&D (BIRD)  portfolio within the Bio-Industrial Services (BIS) Division at InnoTech offers a diverse range of scientific, engineering and technological research and testing capabilities, and unique pilot facilities to support the development of innovative Biomass-based products in energy, gaseous/liquid/solid fuels, construction, forest products, engineered bio-composites, industrial fibres, agricultural -supplements, -inoculant carriers, -organic fertilizers, food/feed additives, flavoring agents and medicinal Cannabis space. In a nut shell, we cover the whole spectrum of terrestrial biomass and its residuals arising from forestry, agricultural, livestock and municipal solid waste operations and our expertise extends all the way from biomass production, characterization, pre-processing, conversion (fractionation), processing (transformation) into more usable high-value bio-products and their end use testing. The BEN talk will focus on showcasing our capabilities, past successes/impacts and future opportunities for prospective innovators and technology developers in the current era of bio-product revolutionization.

Dr. Mohammed is a Senior Researcher and Technical lead for Bio-Thermo Chemical Processing and Biomass Conversion Programs within Bio-Industrial R&D at InnoTech Alberta and also an Adjunct Professor in the Process Systems Engineering, University of Regina. He is also the sector lead for bioenergy initiative at the BQNC (Biomass Quality Network Canada) and a technical committee member on Canadian Mirror Committee to ISO/TC 238:Solid Biofuels. At InnoTech Alberta, his research is focused on biomass thermochemical & thermocatalytic conversion pathways to bioenergy, biofuel, bio-chemical or bio-materials. He is a recipient of 2012 Paragon Award for Innovation for the development of innovative catalysts for feed- and process- flexible hydrogen production. He has 3 patents, 1 book chapter, 2 reviews and 30 research articles to his credit. He also served as a Guest Editor for Special Issue on “Metal Oxides in Catalysis” in Molecular Catalysis Journal, Elsevier, 2018 Issue.

Link to presentation (via YouTube)

Virtual Bioenergy Symposium: October 21, 2020

We are excited to continue our Virtual Bioenergy Symposium into the fall semester – now in a monthly format! On October 21 from 12:00-1:00pm MDT, we are welcoming Perry Toms, CEO of Steeper Energy, to talk about ways to grow Alberta’s low-carbon energy future.

Register here.

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



Perry Toms
Steeper Energy






“How to Grow Alberta’s Low-Carbon Energy Future”

Steeper Energy is an emerging commercial aspirant in the ultra-low carbon or renewable fuels market. Steeper’s proprietary technology, Hydrofaction®, cost-efficiently converts waste biomass into advanced biofuels without the need for pre-processing or drying. Hydrofaction® is a form of hydrothermal liquefaction (“HTL”) that utilizes supercritical water as the conversion reagent in the presence of low-cost catalysts. HTL is recognized by the US Department of Energy as being critical to the commercial success of biofuel production. Perry’s presentation will share the commercialization of Hydrofaction® in both forestry industry and wastewater industry, and his vision of how Steeper could contribute to circular economy beyond Alberta, Canada.

About Perry Toms:
Perry Toms co-founded Steeper Energy in January 2011 and is the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). A graduate with honors of the University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business, he has held various executive management positions related to corporate and business development within the conventional and renewable energy industries.

Perry has over 30 years of senior executive experience with such companies as Noranda Gas, Murphy Oil, TransAlta Corporation, Energy Developments, Novera Energy, Enmax, ABG Biodiesel, and Ignite Energy Resources.

His recent career has focused on corporate and business development services to the emerging renewable energy, fuels, and clean-tech sectors located in North America, Australasia, and Europe. This includes non-conventional technology project development and commercialization, including natural gas cogeneration, wind, biomass, gasification, biodiesel, hydrothermal upgrading, and carbon offset projects.

Link to presentation (via YouTube)

Link to Q&A (PDF format)

Virtual Bioenergy Symposium: September 16, 2020

We are looking forward to hearing from Chris Olson from Innovative Reduction Strategies Inc (IRSI) at our next session on September 16 from 12:00-1:00pm MDT. Read more about him and grab your ticket here!

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



Chris Olson
Alternative Energy Technologist
Innovative Reduction Strategies Inc.






“Waste to Resource: IRSI and the All West Bioindustrial Park”

Chris will walk through the collaborative bioindustrial ecosystem that IRSI is a part of at the All West Bioindustrial Park in Edmonton and give a detailed overview of IRSI’s specific technologies and bioproducts.

Chris has worked for the past eight years in the waste management and alternative energy space. Chris is an Alternative Energy Technologist with a degree from the University of Calgary in Sociology. IRSI’s efforts to drive innovation in the handling of waste streams is aligned closely with Chris’ personal passion for improving the waste management and sustainable technology space. Chris has worked closely with private and public organizations to develop projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving waste management practices, development of leading edge renewable technologies, and he has continually worked to cultivate a well informed understanding of a variety of bio-products. Chris has experience raising both public and private capital and has worked with Alberta Innovates, the Industrial Research Assistance Program, Mitacs, NSERC, as well as a number of private companies and associations.

Link to presentation (via YouTube)

Link to additional info on All West Bioindustrial Park (PDF format)

Virtual Bioenergy Symposium: September 2, 2020

Our last summer session before school starts will feature two researchers from the University of Alberta and University of Calgary. Grab your ticket here for September 2 from 12:00-1:00pm MDT.

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



Meghan Lim
Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology
University of Alberta






“Economic Opportunities and Challenges in Biojet Production: A Literature Review and Analysis”

Biofuel, or biojet, has emerged as a way for the air transport sector to pursue emissions targets. But to date, global biojet production and use has been negligible. A number of experts have discussed reasons for this lack of development, along with the drivers for the industry’s historical and future development. In this study, we compile expert opinions through a comprehensive literature review that explores the relative importance of various opportunities and challenges (OACs) for the biojet industry through an economic lens. Approximately 200 relevant publications, which collectively identified over 70 OACs, were reviewed. For each OAC, counts of citations were documented. The most frequently mentioned opportunity for biojet production was the increasing demand for air travel and its associated increase in emissions, followed by the aviation industry’s lack of liquid fuel alternatives and supportive government policy. On the other hand, the high total cost of biojet production was most often identified in the list of challenges, followed by the challenges of feedstock availability and fulfilling sustainability criteria. The large amount of data available in publications also allowed us to track challenges and opportunities over time. For example, until the mid-2010s, the number of cited opportunities were somewhat higher than the number of cited challenges; but in the last 5 years, challenges were more frequently cited, potentially indicating increasing pessimism for biojet prospects. Ultimately, whether (or to what extent) a biojet sector emerges will depend on its profitability. This review indicates numerous aspects that will influence the economic prospects for biojet, some of which are more important than others, but all of which are interrelated and ultimately come together to influence biojet profitability.

Meghan recently completed the final semester of her BSc Environmental and Conservation Sciences on exchange in Auckland, New Zealand. For the past year, she has been working with Dr. Marty Luckert and Dr. Feng Qiu to study the economic aspects of biojet. She is currently starting a MSc in the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology at the University of Alberta.

Link to presentation (via YouTube)



Dr. Mohita Sharma
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Calgary






“Bioelectrochemical systems: Technology and Applications”

The threat of global warming and diminishing fossil fuel resources is creating an ever-increasing drive to implement new technologies for sustainable fuel production. Microorganisms can play a beneficial role in enhancing energy production, recovering chemicals from waste streams and bioremediation, but can also be responsible for damaging oil and gas infrastructure due to corrosion or souring. Dr Sharma’s research work has mainly revolved around microbial activities in oil and gas operations that can be beneficial or detrimental, which economically impact the energy industry. Her research is focused on designing simple bioelectrochemical system (BES) in order to study different metabolic activities of microorganisms. These include enrichment of electroactive microbes, monitoring the corrosion potential of these microbes, carbon capture , conversion and utilization to value added chemicals and removal of organics and/or generation of value added products from wastewater streams; areas for which BES technology has great industrial application.

Mohita has more than 5 years of experience in planning, executing and delivering multidisciplinary applied research projects on development of sustainable technologies for wastewater treatment, fermentation, biochemical production, biomonitoring, water chemistry analysis, next generation sequencing, chemical efficacy testing for oil field applications, corrosion control, carbon capture, conversion and utilization (CCU) and bioleaching,  for industry-academic partnerships in Canada, India, Europe, Australia and  the US. She was the Lead Postdoc researcher for the geno-MIC project funded through a Genome Canada Large Scale Applied Research Program (LSARP) grant, entitled “Managing Microbial Corrosion in Canadian Offshore and Onshore Oil Production Operations”.

Currently, she is finishing her Industrial Postdoc with Shell in collaboration with University of Calgary and is looking for new opportunities. She has a PhD in Environmental and Industrial Biotechnology, Masters in Plant Biotechnology and Bachelors in Microbiology.

For more information regarding Mohita’s research, you can contact her directly at

Virtual Bioenergy Symposium: August 19, 2020


Please join us for our next Virtual Bioenergy Symposium on August 19 from 12:00-1:00pm MDT featuring special guests from CanmetENERGY Devon.

Register here.

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



Jinwen Chen
Director, Downstream and Renewables
CanmetENERGY Devon, Natural Resources Canada

Dr. Jinwen Chen is the Director of Downstream and Renewables program at CanmetENERGY Devon of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). He leads major R&D programs in oil sands bitumen upgrading/partial upgrading, petroleum refining, bioenergy and biofuels technology development, co-refining/co-processing biocrudes with petroleum, advanced hydrocarbon chemistry and characterization, process modeling, simulation and life cycle assessment of GHG emissions, bitumen beyond combustion, and valorization of hydrocarbon by-products/wastes. Dr. Jinwen Chen is a fellow of Canadian Academy of Engineering.





Anton Alvarez-Majmutov
R&D Lead, Renewables, Hydroprocessing and Modeling
CanmetENERGY Devon, Natural Resources Canada

Dr. Alvarez-Majmutov is a Research Scientist and Lead of the Renewables, Hydroprocessing and Modeling R&D team at CanmetENERGY Devon.  He holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Mexican Institute of Petroleum and has over 15 years’ experience in petroleum refining and heavy oil upgrading R&D, with expertise in hydroprocessing technologies, modeling and simulation, reactor engineering, and co-processing.





“Producing Renewable Biofuels through Co-processing/Co-refining – Bioenergy/Biofuels R&D at CanmetENERGY Devon”

In the first part of their presentation, Drs. Chen and Alvarez-Majmutov will provide an overview of CanmetENERGY Devon’s bioenergy and biofuels research program. The second part of the presentation will focus on CanmetENERGY Devon’s achievements in applying hydroprocessing and fluid catalytic cracking technologies for co-processing the first and second generation of bio-oils/bio-crudes with petroleum fractions to produce renewable biofuels.

Link to presentation (PDF format)

Link to Q&A (PDF format)