To reduce our energy costs, and help develop Quebec’s biomass sector, we hired Biopterre in 2011 to conduct a feasibility study on installing a new biomass heating system. With potential savings of about 60%, the decision to invest in the project was unanimous and quickly made.
In 2012, a partnership with La Coop Fédérée was announced for the installation of the new system at a cost of $1.3 million. The CDBQ – QAIC received $500,000 in financial assistance from the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune under its program to promote the use of forest biomass for heating.
The system is equipped with cutting-edge technology developed by Biovalco, a world leader in the use of agricultural and forest biomass. Biovalco is a business unit of La Coop Fédérée.
The heating system comprises a 150 BHP, remote-controlled furnace, and is designed to efficiently burn many types of agricultural and forest biomass.
Two fuel cells operating independently can store up to 4,000 cu. ft. of biomass, or the equivalent of a 53-ft. trailer each. The versatile feeder system allows varying proportions of different types of biomass to be used, depending on their characteristics.
Lastly, a multiple-cyclone dust collector ensures that the heating system complies with strict fine particulate emissions standards. An automated system evacuates combustion ash and a controller allows the heating system to adjust automatically to the demand for steam.
The Biovalco system installed at the CDBQ – QAIC is a first in Quebec and serves as both a test tool and a technology showcase.