New Chinese Consul General of Vancouver, Xiaoling Tong, visited C-CJCBERI

New Chinese Consul General of Vancouver, Xiaoling Tong, visited C-CJCBERI

On January 18th, 2018, the new Chinese Consul General of Vancouver, Ms. Xiaoling Tong, visited our Center along with her colleagues. Our Director Dr. Xiaotao Bi and our members Dr. Jim Lim and Dr. Anthony Lau received the group. Dr. Bi briefed the Consul General and her delegation on the establishment of the Center, the development and achievements, and the next plans. Ms. Tong fully expressed her appreciation for the development of the Center. She emphasized the Chinese government's support and commitment to clean energy, bio-energy, and environmental protection in the recent years. China and Canada share the goal and vision in the field of clean energy and have expressed strong interest in collaboration. The Consulate will definitely continue to support the further development of C-CJCBERI.

Other members of the delegation include Consul Changxue Yu, Director of Education Department of the Consulate, Consul Yunan Fu from the Education Department, and Consul Xintao Zheng.

Dr. Chunbao Xu visited Beijing University of Chemical Technology

Dr. Chunbao Xu visited Beijing University of Chemical Technology

C-CJCBERI member Dr. Chunbao Xu visited Dr. Xu Zhang at Beijing University of Chemical Technology (BUCT) on Dec 21st, 2017. Dr. Xu is a new faculty member of C-CJCBERI joint in summer 2017. During his visit, Dr. Xu gave a presentation on his research at Western University, Canada and attended seminars to learn about the work of Dr. Zhang's group and the College of Life Science and Technology at BUCT. Dr. Xu also toured laboratories and discussed potential collaborations with Dr. Zhang.

Dr. Anthony Lau visited Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion and South China University of Technology

Dr. Anthony Lau visited Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion and South China University of Technology

C-CJCBERI member Dr. Anthony Lau visited our partner institute Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion (GIEC), Chinese Academy of Sciences and the South China University of Technology from Dec 4th to Dec 8th, 2017. He met with professors and students from the Biomass Catalytic Conversion Group and the Biomass Biochemical Conversion Group of GIEC including our Centre's Chinese faculty members Dr. Longlong Ma and Dr. Changfeng Yan. He gave presentations in seminars and discussed potential collaborations for the next year. He also met with Prof. Jie Chang from the South China University of Technology and visited there research labs. 

Delegation from Zhejiang Energy Group visited C-CJCBERI

Delegation from Zhejiang Energy Group visited C-CJCBERI

A delegation from Zhejiang Energy Group Co. Ltd. led by Mr. Guanghua Qin, Deputy Chief Engineer, visited C-CJCBERI on Dec 8th, 2017. Zhejiang Energy Group is a large state-owned enterprise. Its major businesses include power construction, thermal power generation, coal investment and development, coal circulation operations, natural gas development and utilization, energy services and financial real estate business.

C-CJCBERI hosted a seminar that the delegation introduced Zhejiang Energy Group and post-doc fellows and research associates from UBC Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering presented recent research projects on bioenergy and fuel cells at UBC. The delegation also toured labs in UBC Clean Energy Research Centre.

Dr. Jack Saddler co-authored new IEA publication "Technology Roadmap: Delivering Sustainable Bioenergy"

Dr. Jack Saddler co-authored new IEA publication "Technology Roadmap: Delivering Sustainable Bioenergy"

A new publication by International Energy Agency (IEA) "Technology Roadmap: Delivering Sustainable Bioenergy" was released by Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources Canada on Nov 27th in Ottawa, during the conference of Bioenergy for the Future hosted by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). Our Centre's member Dr. Jack Saddler, the Leader of IEA's Bioenergy Task 39 - "Liquid Biofuels", contributed to the publication.

Bioenergy is the main source of renewable energy today. IEA modeling also indicates that modern bioenergy is an essential component of the future low carbon global energy system if global climate change commitments are to be met, playing a particularly important role in helping to decarbonize sectors such as aviation, shipping and long haul road transport.

However, the current rate of bioenergy deployment is well below the levels required in low carbon scenarios. Accelerated deployment is urgently needed to ramp up the contribution of sustainable bioenergy across all sectors, notably in the transport sector where consumption is required to triple by 2030.  But bioenergy is a complex and sometimes controversial topic. There is an increasing understanding that only bioenergy that is supplied and used in a sustainable manner has a place in a low carbon energy future. 

This Technology Roadmap re-examines the role of bioenergy in light of changes to the energy landscape over the past five years as well as recent experience in bioenergy policy, market development and regulation. It identifies the technical, policy and financial barriers to deployment, and suggests a range of solutions to overcome them.

The publication can be downloaded from here.

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