On November 21, 2022, Dr. Paul Stuart, who is a faculty at the Chemical Engineering Department at Polytechnique Montreal and the Principal Consultant of EnVertis Consulting, presented and discussed the biomass consideration from the perspective of an engineer targeting the successful deployment of forest biomass biorefineries during the BBRG group meeting.
He introduced to our group members the concept of the bioeconomy value chain, as pictured. His presentation gave the technical-oriented BBRG members an expanded perspective on the application of biomass. One idea Dr. Stuart discussed is that after 2030, the emphasis will be less on biofuels and bioenergy and more on high-value bioproducts and biochemicals to replace fossil-fuel-derived chemicals.
With his facilitation, we discussed biomass preprocessing and the fractionation of biomass to constituent chemicals: cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. Dr. Stuart believed that these chemicals will serve as the backbone biochemical of a bioeconomy. We also talked about the direction of the Canadian bioeconomy and the lack of a national bioeconomy framework. Dr. Stuart pointed out that biomass pellets for power and heating application can serve as phase zero to commoditize and build up biomass feedstock supply for future biochemical production.