Canfor, Licella sign joint venture agreement to produce biofuels

Deal will convert biomass produced at Canadian pulp firm into biocrude oil.

June 1, 2016

The Canadian forest products company Canfor Pulp Products Inc. (CPPI ) and Australia-based Licella Fibre Fuels Pty. Ltd. have entered into a joint venture agreement with the goal of converting biomass, generated from Canfor’s pulp facilities, into biofuels and biochemicals.

Under the joint venture, Licella will integrate its Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor (Cat-HTR) upgrading platform into Canfor Pulp’s kraft and mechanical pulp mills to economically convert biomass, including wood residues from Canfor Pulp’s kraft pulping processes, into biocrude oil. The oil would then be converted into biofuels and biochemicals.

With its Cat-HTR technology, Licella says it can use any form of ligno-cellulosic biomass feedstock to produce biocrude oil, which can then be refined to produce biofuels and renewable biochemicals.

Canfor says the additional residue stream refining would allow the company to optimize its pulp production capacity.

The Cat-HTR platforms converts low-cost, nonedible biomass into biocrude oil, which can be refined in a conventional refinery into biofuels and biochemicals.

Following the integration of the Cat-HTR technology, the Licella Pulp joint venture would seek to offer the end product to third party kraft and mechanical pulp mills.

The agreement follows a successful trial run at Licella’s pilot plants in New South Wales, Australia, which converted wood residue from Canfor Pulp’s Prince George, British Columbia, pulp mill into a stable biocrude oil.

In a news release announcing the joint venture, Don Kayne, CPPI CEO, says, “Biofuels and biochemicals represent the next frontier in the utilization of sustainable wood fiber to produce green energy and chemicals. This initiative underscores Canfor Pulp’s commitment to innovation and the importance of green energy and chemicals in our future product mix, and we look forward to developing this potentially transforming technology with Licella.”

The deal with Canfor follows on the heels of Licella receiving a $10 million investment from Renewable Chemical Technologies Ltd. (RCTL) to build what Licella says is the world’s first commercial hydrothermal waste upgrading plant.

The partnership with RCTL will develop projects to convert end-of-life plastics into oil, which would be suitable for blending into standard hydrocarbon fuels.

The company is expected to process between 10,000 to 20,000 metric tons of waste plastic per year through this process.

Licella is a subsidiary of Licella Pty. Ltd., which in turn is a subsidiary of Ignite Energy Resources Ltd. (IER), an Australian public unlisted natural resource and energy technology development company.