Biofour receives funding for poultry litter boiler project

By Luke Geiver | March 01, 2012

A biomass boiler developer based in Quebec has received funding from the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program to test a biomass boiler on agricultural residues.

Biofour Inc. will use the $126,400 to validate the operating conditions of the technology, conditioning of the residues used, ash removal and management, as well as the emissions created from the ag residues, according to Marilou Cyr, director of marketing and business development for the company. The project began in 2011 and the team performed air emission sampling on a poultry litter combustion process in the fall.

The boiler used at the poultry litter facility has two chambers; the first for biomass combustion and the second to burn combustion gases, Cyr said. “This design enables it to provide complete combustion. Our heating technology is working with hot water and provides power from 10 to 300 BHP (brake horse power).” Depending on the biomass used, a filtration system can also be added to meet environmental requirements. Because the two-chamber system provides a more complete combustion process, the technology is very efficient in meeting emissions standards, Cyr said.

The Biofour team has been developing its technology since 2003, and in 2011 the team installed a boiler at a poultry facility to provide heat for the buildings on the site. “Since that change (to the biomass boiler), the air is drier, energy costs are lower and we saw production gains.” Cyr said. Part of the company’s goal is to provide an alternative heating and residue management solution for agricultural and agri-food businesses, helping to reduce production costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Christian Paradis, minister of industry and state agriculture, said the testing project offers producers new opportunities and will generate positive economic benefits. “The marketing of this technology in other industries could generate an interesting diversification of the sector,” he added.

The CAAP started in 2009 and will operate through 2014. The program has a $163 million budget, aimed at reinforcing the agricultural sectors’ economy for the future in Canada.