C-CJCBERI awarded funding from Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)

C-CJCBERI awarded funding from Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)

C-CJCBERI has been successfully awarded $4.5 Million Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) 2017 Innovation Fund. The fund will mainly support the building of new labs and equipment for the Centre to conduct biomass and bioenergy research on UBC campus. The design and construction will start in early 2018.

The award was announced by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Jody Wilson-Raybould, on behalf of the Minister of Science, Kirsty Duncan, at UBC on Oct 13th. UBC has received more than $67.5 million through the CFI’s Innovation Fund this year. This investment will help put the right tools in the hands of Canada’s top scientists so they make discoveries, innovate and train their students for the jobs of tomorrow. By doing so, scientists are contributing to building a bolder, brighter future for all Canadians.

A quote from our Director Dr. Xiaotao Bi was included in UBC news:

"Biomass residues are abundantly available in Canada, especially in British Columbia. They can potentially contribute to more than 10% reductions of BC's greenhouse gas emissions by displacing fossil fuels for district heating, transportation, and aviation. UBC researchers have been developing biomass pretreatment, gasification, torrefaction, pyrolysis, catalytic upgrading, fermentation and clean burning technologies to facilitate the transformation of biomass residues to bioenergy and biofuels, in collaboration with researchers in Canada and abroad. This new CFI funding will enable us to work closely with domestic and international industrial partners to transform those technologies from lab to pilot scale to facilitate the demonstration and commercialization of these novel technologies. We believe that the successful bioenergy utilization of Canada's abundant biomass resources will play a critical role in helping Canada to meet its 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction target and helping Vancouver to achieve its 2050 Renewable City (100% renewable energy) target."

A full list of the funded projects and stories about the facilities are available online at Innovation.ca.

Dr. Naoko Ellis visited Hunan Academy of Forestry

Dr. Naoko Ellis visited Hunan Academy of Forestry

C-CJCBERI member Dr. Naoko Ellis visited our Partner institute Hunan Academy of Forestry (HAF) from Sep 19th to 21st. She gave lectures to the researchers and students at HAF and attended seminars to learn about the research projects from both institutions. She also visited a local company Hunan Yangdong Porcelain Insulators & Electric Co., Ltd. which operates an industry scale biomass gasifier. Potential future collaborations are being discussed.

C-CJCBERI signed MOU with Vancouver Economic Commission at Beijing

C-CJCBERI signed MOU with Vancouver Economic Commission at Beijing

On September 7th, A delegation led by the Mayor of the City of Vancouver, Mr. Gregor Robertson, and organized by the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC), visited C-CJCBERI at Beijing University of Chemical Technology (BUCT). C-CJCBERI Director Dr. Xiaotao Bi is one of the delegates. Attendees that host this visit include Dr. Tianwei Tan, Chinese Director of C-CJCBERI; Dr. Jianfeng Chen, Vice President of BUCT; Jinzhu Su, Deputy Director, International Exchanges and Cooperation Department, Beijing Municipal Education Commission; Libin Liu, Deputy Director, Education Commission of Chaoyang District, Beijing; and C-CJCBERI members include Dr. Xu Zhang from BUCT, Dr. Guangqing Liu from BUCT, Dr. Xuebing Zhao from Tsinghua University, and Dr. Yinhua Wan from Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Witnessed by Mayor Robertson and Director of Asia Pacific Centre at VEC, Mrs. Joan Elangovan, C-CJCBERI signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with VEC. The MOU indicates the two parties are interested in conducting academic exchanges and collaboration between Canada and China in bio-energy and clean energy sector. For this purpose, the parties agree to further explore the direction and structure of the collaboration. And the parties agree to assist and support academic and educational institutions and businesses from the regions of the parties in developing platforms for research and collaboration, including hosting technical symposiums, forums, and training programs, in order to promote exchanges and collaboration in bio-energy and clean energy sector. The areas include but not limited to Low carbon economy and circular economy; Climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction; Municipal wastes reduction; Waste water sludge treatment; Bio-energy for district heating; and Agriculture wastes treatment and utilization.

Dr. Tianwei Tan welcomed the Mayor and the delegation. He and Dr. Xiaotao Bi reviewed C-CJCBERI's establishment and development. They hope with this MOU in place, more collaborations between universities, organizations, and municipals can be expected. Mayor Robertson congratulates the signing of the MOU. He believes this will help with the green city development of City of Vancouver. And he hopes C-CJCBERI will deliver impressive research and innovations in the clean energy field. City of Vancouver hopes to utilize the cutting-edge research achievement to the city's development.

Second Annual Workshop Held at UBC

Second Annual Workshop Held at UBC

See more photos of the workshop...

C-CJCBERI has successfully hosted the 2017 Annual Workshop on Monday, Aug 21st at UBC.

Over 60 attendees from academia, governments, funding agencies and industries of Canada and China got together to exchange knowledge, share insights of bioenergy field, and discuss the Centre’s development for the next year.

The Workshop was opened by the Centre’s Director Prof. Xiaotao Tony Bi. Prof. Helen Burt, UBC Associate VP Research & Innovation; Ms. Fei Liu, Consul General of Consulate General of China in Vancouver; and Prof. James Olson, Dean of Faculty of Applied Science gave welcome speeches. Professors and researchers from UBC, University of Alberta, University of Saskatchewan, University of Science and Technology of China, Natural Resources Canada, and Chinese Academy of Sciences presented their current research projects. International Energy Agency, BC Bioenergy Network, and Highbury Energy Inc. also gave talks on missions and latest work.

C-CJCBERI has been growing in the past year and now has doubled the number of partner organizations and faculty members since its opening in 2015. It also has recently established an advisory committee in addition to a management committee. The committee members are from diverse sectors including research institutes, governments, and industry. During the discussion sessions, attendees reviewed the progress and opportunities to provide ideas and suggestions on the next steps for C-CJCBERI. Partner organizations from the two countries shared information on funding opportunities that are available for joint application. Those grants and funding can support fundamental research, demonstration and commercialization, and students and highly qualified personnel training. The Centre’s goals and activities also align with those of several local and international organizations and initiatives such as the Forest BioProducts Institute (FBP) at UBC and the Sustainable Biofuels Innovation Challenge & Biofuture Platform jointly initiated by multiple organizations across the world including CanmetENERGY, Natural Resources Canada and Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion in China. C-CJCBERI can foresee more partnerships and development in the next year.

The 2018 C-CJCBERI Annual Workshop will be held in early May in Beijing.

Program of this workshop can be downloaded from here.

Beijing Forestry University visited C-CJCBERI

Beijing Forestry University visited C-CJCBERI

A group of professors from College of Engineering, Beijing Forestry University visited C-CJCBERI on August 10th. C-CJCBERI members Dr. Xiaotao Bi, Dr. Anthony Lau, Dr. Jim Lim, and Dr. Shahabaddine Sokhansanj hosted a seminar on biomass pelletization. Dr. Bi introduced UBC and C-CJCBERI and presented our recent research progress. He led the visitors to tour UBC Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering and UBC Clean Energy Research Center (CERC) afterward. Dr. Sokhansanj also guided a tour to see the research facilities of UBC Biomass and Bioenergy Research Group (BBRG). The visiting professors gave an informative presentation to introduce the research work and commercialization achievements of Beijing Forestry University on biomass pelletization.

The visiting professors are Prof. Guosheng Yu, Dr. Zhongjia Chen, Dr. Aiping Xiao, Dr. Ye Tian. 

Two C-CJCBERI members Inducted Into Canadian Academy of Engineering

Two C-CJCBERI members Inducted Into Canadian Academy of Engineering

Congratulations to C-CJCBERI's members Dr. Jim Lim and Dr. James Olson who have been inducted as fellows of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE) in recognition of their "distinguished achievements and career-long service to the engineering profession."

Nominated and elected by their peers, 50 new fellows and two new international fellows were welcomed by the CAE on June 26, 2017 at a ceremony in Ottawa, in conjunction with the CAE's 2017 Annual General Meeting and Symposium. The CAE is an independent, self-governing and non-profit organization established in 1987 to serve Canada in matters of engineering concern.

The CAE citations read as follows:

Jim Lim

Dr. Jim Lim has made major contributions to the practice, teaching and advancement of chemical engineering. He has shown unique skills in devising new thermochemical processes for industry and in designing and operating pilot scale units to improve and verify these processes. He has been a key figure in training a generation of chemical engineering students in sound design, process simulation and control, and practical skills needed for successful process operations. He has also been an essential team member in a unique group at UBC showing leadership in multiphase reactors.

James Olson

Dr. James Olson is a visionary leader, pioneering researcher, and inspiring educator who has made transformative contributions to the forest products sector of engineering. As a direct result of Dr. Olson’s innovative research and patented inventions, the pulp and paper industry can produce premium pulp using half the energy, has access to more effective fibre separation and refining processes, and is able to measure key properties of fibres more accurately and efficiently. Dr. Olson’s honours include two NSERC Synergy Awards, two NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplements, an APEGBC Meritorious Achievement Award, the BC Lieutenant Governor’s Innovation Award, and nine best papers.

Congratulations!

Dr. Xiaotao Bi awarded NSERC Strategic Partnership Grant

Dr. Xiaotao Bi awarded NSERC Strategic Partnership Grant

Congratulations to our Director Dr. Xiaotao Bi for being awarded the Strategic Partnership Grant for Projects by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). These grants support early-stage collaborative research projects in four target areas: advanced manufacturing, environment and agriculture, information and communications technologies, and natural resources and energy. Each collaboration must be between an academic researcher and a supporting organization that will be involved in all stages of the project.

Dr. Bi proposes to develop a new catalytic pyrolysis reactor system to convert biomass into high-quality bio-oil (upgradable to diesel and jet fuels) and biochar (usable as a high-value carbon-based fertilizer and reduction agent for iron ore processing). In addition to stimulating the Canadian bioeconomy, this technology will help the country meet its greenhouse emissions reduction target. The collaborators are Professor Weihsin Chen at National Cheng Kung University, EnWave Corp and G4 Insights Inc in Canada, and China Steel Corp in Taiwan.

By encouraging universities, industry, and governmental organizations to work together in tackling Canada’s greatest challenges, NSERC aims to not only foster innovations that will improve Canada’s economy, society, and environment, but also offer valuable training opportunities for the next generation of scientists and engineers.

News on UBC website: https://apsc.ubc.ca/news/2017/03/nserc-awards-strategic-partnership-grants-five-ubc-engineering-profs

C-CJCBERI successfully organized “Collaboration Strategies Workshop on Bioenergy and Bioeconomy”

C-CJCBERI successfully organized “Collaboration Strategies Workshop on Bioenergy and Bioeconomy”

C-CJCBERI has organized a "Collaboration Strategies Workshop on Bioenergy and Bioeconomy" successfully in collaboration with Nexterra and FP Innovations on Feb 23rd. About 70 people from universities, institutions, public sectors, and industry in Canada and China attended the workshop. Dr. Xiaotao Tony Bi opened the workshop on behalf of the organizing committee, followed by welcome speeches by Dr. Marc Parlange, Dean of APSC and Mr. Weiwei Kong, Deputy Consul General of China. Other speakers include representatives from Global Affairs Canada, China Ministry of Science and Technology, Natural Resources Canada, International Energy Agency, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, NSERC, BC Ministry of Energy and Mines, UBC VP Research Office, C-CJCBERI, and the India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability (IC-IMPACTS).

The goal of the workshop is to strengthen and expend the network on bioenergy and bioeconomy within Canada as well as between Canada and China. After the mutual visits of Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and Chinese PM Li Keqiang in 2016, clean energy technology became one of the major areas that the two countries aim to develop collaboratively. Both countries have rich bio-resources and recognize the values of bioenergy and bioeconomy for a cleaner and sustainable environment. We believe that it is the right time now for researchers in both countries to exchange ideas, form partnerships so that a solid collaborative work plan can be developed.

The presentations in the morning sessions covered various topics, including clean energy status in Canada, China, and BC; NCE and NSERC network programs overview; current collaborations between Canada and China as well as between Canada and India; and Asia-Pacific business and trade. In the afternoon, the attendees had focused on discussions on the opportunities and challenges of bioenergy R&D, market and policy, and supply and commercialization. The workshop was concluded with a summary of the discussions and a preliminary plan for the next steps.

The workshop was sponsored by NSERC and UBC VP Research, and Chemical and Biological Engineering Department provided logistics support. The Organizing Committee members are Dr. Xiaotao Tony Bi, Director, C-CJCBERI; Dan Green, Executive Director, Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund, BC Ministry of Energy and Mines; Dr. Xuantian Li, Principal Engineer and Group Leader, NORAM Engineering and Constructors Ltd.; Cliff Mui, VP Product Development, Nexterra Systems Corp.; Dr. Jack Saddler, Task Leader, IEA Bioenergy Task 39; Dr. Douglas Singbeil, Research Manager, Process Engineering, FPInnovations; Dr. Jamie Stephen, Managing Director, TorchLight Bioresources.

Here is the program of the workshop. To learn more about the workshop please contact info@ccjcberi.center.

Shaanxi Science and Technology Department visited C-CJCBERI

Shaanxi Science and Technology Department visited C-CJCBERI

On February 26th, a delegation led by Mr. Huaibin Zhao, Deputy Director-General of Shaanxi Science and Technology Department, visited C-CJCBERI. Dr. Xiaotao Bi introduced UBC and C-CJCBERI and presented the recent work on clean energy. He also led a guided tour to the labs in the UBC Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and UBC Clean Energy Centre (CERC). The delegation also introduced the situations and new policies of energy field in Shaanxi Province, China. Together they discussed on the common areas, experiences, and opportunities for China and Canada as well as Shaanxi Province and BC Province in clean energy field. 

The other delegates are: Mr. Chongjun Bai, Director, Division of Science and Technology Industry Development, Shaanxi Science and Technology Department; Dr. Lifa Zhou, President, Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Energy Resources & Chemical Engineering; Dr. Lin Li, Dean, Xi'an Shiyou University, Graduate School.

Dr. Steven Rogak won BCIC Ignite Award

Dr. Steven Rogak won BCIC Ignite Award

Congratulations to our member Dr. Steven Rogak for winning the BCIC Ignite Award! He worked with Hydra Energy to develop the first dual-fuel hydrogen/diesel heavy-duty class 8 trucks in North America. This is a very competitive award and the team was awarded $300,000.

BCIC Ignite provides funding to accelerate commercialization of new technologies and innovations in the natural resources and applied sciences in British Columbia. The program provides awards of up to $300,000 to consortia that are conducting research projects that address a significant demonstrated problem faced by industry and will commercialize a proposed innovation within a 3-year timeframe.

Check BCIC website for more details.

Prof. Zhenyu Liu and Prof. Jianli Yang from BUCT visited C-CJCBERI

Prof. Zhenyu Liu and Prof. Jianli Yang from BUCT visited C-CJCBERI

On Feb 6th, Professor Zhenyu Liu and Professor Jianli Yang from College of Chemical Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology visited C-CJCBERI. Dr. Xiaotao Bi introduced the research at UBC and guided a lab tour at the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, UBC Pulp and Paper Centre, and UBC Clean Energy Centre. 

C-CJCBERI will host Collaboration Strategies Workshop on Bioenergy and Bioeconomy

C-CJCBERI will host Collaboration Strategies Workshop on Bioenergy and Bioeconomy

C-CJCBERI will host "Collaboration Strategies Workshop on Bioenergy and Bioeconomy" on Feburay 23rd 2017 at UBC. This workshop is to gather researchers, and industrial practitioners from clean energy especially bioenergy sector, as well as governments and service providers to share experiences, insights, and ideas on collaborations nationally and internationally. The expected outcome of the workshop is to form new connections and partnerships for a joint proposal on establishing a broad and strong network on clean energy and bioenergy research, development and commercialization in Canada and China. 

The workshop is sponsored by NSERC and UBC. It is co-organized by C-CJCBERI, Nexterra Systems Corp., and FPInnovations. Organizing committee includes: Dr. Xiaotao Bi, Director, C-CJCBERI; Dan Green, Executive Director, Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund, BC Ministry of Energy and Mines; Dr. Xuantian Li, Principal Engineer and Group Leader, NORAM Engineering and Constructors Ltd.; Cliff Mui, VP Product Development, Nexterra Systems Corp.; Dr. Jack Saddler, Task Leader, IEA Bioenergy Task 39; Dr. Douglas Singbeil, Research Manager, Process Engineering, FPInnovations; Dr. Jamie Stephen, Managing Director, TorchLight Bioresources. There will be over 70 participants from universities and insitutions across Canada, local industries, governments and public sectors, and 3 international attendees from China. The program and speakers' intro will be released shortly.