Canadian cleantech startups turning biogas sludge into fertilizer

Three Canadian cleantech companies will receive more than $500,000 funding to test technologies that can produce products other than methane from biogas.

Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre has chosen three finalists in its ARCTIC Innovation Challenge to work with Seabreeze Farm in Delta, B.C. to test their technologies.

FortisBC already produces renewable natural gas (RNG) at the Delta dairy farm from manure. RNG, or biogas, is a form of natural gas derived from organic waste.

But methane isn’t the only useful thing that can be produced from organic waste like manure. Nitrogen and phosphorous, used to make fertilizers, can also be extracted from the sludge that is left over from the biogas process.

Of the three finalists, two are from B.C.: Muddy River Technologies and Trident Processes. The other finalist is a joint venture between CH Four, based in Manotick, Ontario, and BioPolynet, based in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

The three companies will share $525,000 in funding to develop demonstration projects at the dairy farm.

“For the last several years, we have been producing RNG and supplying it to FortisBC’s grid to supply the local market in BC,” said Seabreeze Farm owner Jerry Keulen. “We are looking forward to working with these companies to optimize our current system and improve our business case.”

The ARCTIC Innovation Challenge is a program of the Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre, and is funded in part by Western Economic Diversification.

— Business in Vancouver