The federal government has included $10.8 million for a new plant in Sarnia that hopes to turn corn stover into sugar that would be a feedstock for plants like BioAmber.
Friday’s announcement was part of a $206-million package of support for some 36 clean technology projects across Canada made by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
The proposed plant, which will be operated by Comet Biorefining, is expected to be operating by 2018.
London-based Comet Biorefining says it has developed a novel process to convert non-food cellulosic biomass into high quality cost-competitive cellulosic glucose. The company says its “enabling and ground breaking technology” allows biofuels and bioproducts manufacturers to have a reliable and consistent source of cellulose-based glucose that can be directly converted to value-added end products. Comet cellulosic sugar is produced as a high purity syrup.
According to Comet’s website, its cellulosic sugar process uses a unique, two stage process to activate cellulosic biomass, followed by conversion to glucose at very low enzyme loading. Co-products are used for energy production or other applications.
Comet plans to be able to produce 27 million kilograms (60 million pounds) of dextrose sugar annually from locally sourced corn stover and wheat straw.
The project is expected to cost $34.7 million to complete.