CCNB’s Kevin Shiell funded for major biogas project

GRAND FALLS, (NB)—The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation today announced a $400,000 investment to fund part of a major biogas research project being conducted at CCNB Edmundston’s Bio-energy and Bio-products Applied Research Lab in Grand Falls.

In partnership with Laforge Holstein Ltd. of St. André, the project will see the construction of Atlantic Canada’s first biogas system for producing low carbon electricity and liquid fertilizer from organic waste.

“Laforge will oversee the construction of both the biogas and fertilizer production facilities, and we’ll be conducting the scientific research needed to make it work,” says Kevin Shiell, the project’s principal investigator, “we’ll be figuring out the mix of organic waste that produces the best quality output.” Mr. Shiell, who is also an instructor at the college’s Edmundston campus and a past honouree of the Foundation’s R3 Gala that recognizes the work of the province’s top applied researchers.

The biogas system will initially use manure from Laforge Holstein’s dairy operations and food waste from McCain Foods’ processing facility in Grand Falls.

“There is a substantial financial and environmental cost tied to transporting organic waste to landfills,” says NBIF president Calvin Milbury, “this project reduces that cost and adds value at the same time by producing a new, low greenhouse gas energy source.” Milbury says the combination of the new facility and the knowledge Mr. Shiell will produce will serve to increase the province’s research capacity.

“Establishing a bio-energy and bio-products lab for applied research at CCNB Edmundston in Grand Falls is one of the objectives identified in Action Plan for Self-Sufficiency in Northern New Brunswick, says Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault, who is also minister responsible for the Northern New Brunswick Infrastructure Initiative. By linking the community colleges to industry in this way, we create new opportunities for the growth of our resource-based industries.”

The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation makes venture capital investments in new, growth-oriented companies and funds applied research.

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