The Growing Sustainable Bioeconomies – Making it Happen conference and expo opened today in London, Ontario with a spirited call for more government attention for the bioproducts sector. W. Scott Thurlow, President of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association, Thurlow claimed that:
- the biofuels industry is the anchor tenant of the bioeconomy,
- bioethanol is now cheaper than gasoline.
- 1 billion litres of ethanol per year is now imported from the US, meaning excellent opportunities for ethanol producers in Canada.
- the food versus fuel debate is just plain wrong.
- a larger share of profit for the ethanol industry comes from the sale of dried distiller grains, something that was previously considered a byproduct from bioethanol production.
- the bioeconomy is about conversion of existing production from fossil to bio resources and about developing new products that are based on renewable rather than fossil resources.
The CRFA is pushing hard for updating of the biodiesel mandate in Canada, currently standing at 2% of diesel fuel sales. Thurlow stated that the glycerin byproduct from biodiesel production is where the money is, more than in the biodiesel itself. Biodiesel also provides a useful outlet for waste materials such as cooking oils.
Other plenary speakers discussed composites and biogas from agricultural waste materials.
This report is a GallonDaily exclusive filed live from the Conference. See http://www.gtmconference.ca/ for conference details.