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Robert  Helleur

Robert Helleur

Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada

Title: An integrated thermochemcial biorefinery for maritime forests


Biography: Robert Helleur


Biorefining is defined as the sustainable processing of biomass into marketable  products  and  fuel. In the Canadian Maritimes waste biomass can be readily obtained from forestry and fishery sectors and municipalities  (solid  wastes).  The  integrated  forest biorefinery  consists  of  the  addition  of  biorefining units to pulp and paper mills and local sawmills while maintaining  the manufacturing  of their core product. The biorefinery would provide a source of sustainable fuels and chemicals  while increasing  the value from wood    residues    and help diversify the sector. Processing woody biomass into fuels is the first step in biorefining,  similar to the atmospheric  distillation unit at an oil refinery or inlet separator at a gas plant. Over the last 4 years  Memorial  has  partnered  with BioFuelNet Canada,    CSFI/DNR and Abritech (Quebec) in developing a comprehensive thermochemical research   facility   which  includes   a pilot  scale  fast  pyrolysis  unit  (450-480oC;no O2). Pyrolysis converts biomass into liquid biofuel, biochar and useful chemical products. Given the   average residues of a medium sawmill i.e., 3,500 tonnes/yr and the potential for other feedstocks (fishery) a number of integrated  pathways  are being considered  (Figure 1). The  bio-oil  has the  potential  for  a  replacement  or blend with heating oil for the sawmill and region. Depending  on  scale  of  the  system  there  are opportunities to partner with other users such as pulp and Paper mills. The biochar product has a number of local markets including soil amendment and as an effective absorbent in the mining and oil and gas industry. Other integrated processes under development are torrefaction (300 oC; no O2), a pre-treatment leading to higher quality products.

Recent Publication:

Papari et al., Indust. Eng. Chem. Res., 56, 2017.

Whyte et al., Fuel processing Tech., 140, 2015.

Kan et al., RSER, 57, 2016.

Ferraro et al., Materials Sci. Eng. C, 33, 2013.

Zhang et al., Energy Conversion Management, 51, 2010.



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