Western Fluidization Group

Students in front of Spencer Engineering Building
NSERC President, Dr. Suzanne Fortier, with WFG NSERC Scholars and Drs. F. Berruti, C. Briens and L. Briens.


CBC National Radio Interview

Mary Ann Colihan of CBC National Radio recently interviewed Dr. Franco Berruti. A summary of the interview can be found here.

Ontario Centres of Excellence Grant

Drs. Cedric Briens and Franco Berruti have been awarded a $210,000 grant, "Upgrading of a Mobile Pyrolyzer Demonstration Plant", over two years from the Ontario Centres of Excellence.

The purpose of the project is to cinduct research and development work to transform a mobile pyrolyzer for agricultural waste, which has been succesfully developed and tested at the Institute for Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources (ICFAR) at The University of Western Ontario, into a reliable and versatile commercial unit by developing a new type of biomass injector, an integrated biomass dryer a fractional condensation train, and a new technology for char removal.
With the OCE Collaborative grant, the ICFAR Director, Dr. Franco Berruti, and its Research Director, Dr. Cedric Briens, and their partner, Ron Golden of Agri-Therm, have developed a new mobile pyrolyzer. This new processs can convert agricultural waste at the farm into a liquid bio-oil that can be easily stored and transported, thus avoiding the cumbersome and expennsive transport of the raw waste.

NSERC Strategic Research Grant

C. Briens received an NSERC Strategic Research Grant with co-applicants F. Berruti, P. Charpentier, and J. Brandle and I. Scott from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada along with industrial support from Agri-Therm Ltd. and GreenField Ethanol.

This research will develop a new, practical technology for the conversion of agricultural waste into fuels and valuable products. Pyrolysis is an ideal process for the conversion of biomass into high value-added products. It produces bio-oil that can be shipped to a biorefinery for refining into green chemicals and biofuels. The most promising technologies for biomass pyrolysis on a commercial scale are the fluidized bed pyrolyzers, which include downers and risers for short residence times, and bubbling/turbulent fluidized beds for longer residence times.

This research will use riser, downer and regular fluidized pilot plants to pyrolyze several feedstocks of special interest to Canada.

NSERC Collaborative Research Grant

C. Briens and F. Berruti received an NSERC Collaborative Research Grant for the project "Conversion of agricultural wastes and crops into bio-oil and syngas", with DynaMotive Energy Systems Corp. and Agri-Therm Ltd.

Academic Development Fund Grant

L. Briens received an Academic Development Fund Grant for the project "Development of monitoring methods for pharmaceutical particulate operations".

Successfully Defended

Congratulations to Katherine Albion for successfully defending her PhD thesis on November 23, 2007.

Congratulations to Peter House for successfully defending his PhD thesis on October 15, 2007.