Vaperma Opens Centre to Test New Clean Energy Technology
Today, Vaperma Inc officially opened its
new 22,000 square-foot research and technology centre for the development and
pilot testing of clean energy gas separation membranes. Vaperma's innovative
hollow fiber membrane is a proprietary, made-in-Canada technology that
represents a new "dewatering" process for the production of fuel ethanol. The
technology also has strong potential for the dehydration of natural gas.
It is expected that Vaperma's membrane technology will be an attractive
solution to large ethanol refining plants in both North America and Brazil to
meet the growing demand for bioethanol as a gasoline additive. In addition,
testing of Vaperma's membrane technology for the dehydration of natural gas
will begin in October 2007. Dehydration of natural gas is required to purify
this clean-burning petroleum fuel.
Vaperma's pre-commercial membrane spinning facility is scheduled to go
online during August 2007. The pilot line will spin enough fibers to enable
testing at large demonstration scale.
Over the past 18 months, Vaperma has successfully built the company and
its assets, which have taken Siftek membrane technology from the lab into
the demonstration phase, by partnering with potential customers such as
GreenField Ethanol and EnCana Corporation.
"Vaperma is positioning itself to become a leading Canadian supplier of
advanced membrane systems for the production of fuel-grade ethanol and for
natural gas treatment. Funding support from Sustainable Development Technology
Canada, EnCana's Environmental Innovation Fund, and NRCan/TEAM are key in
reducing the financial risk posed by the introduction of this innovative
technology into the marketplace," says Claude Letourneau, President & CEO,
"We are confident in the successful demonstration of the commercial
viability of our membrane systems in partnership with GreenField Ethanol and
look forward to the demonstration phase with EnCana. Without these key
consortia partners, this exciting endeavour would not have been possible," he
The state-of-the-art new research and technology centre is based on
technology to which Natural Resources Canada was a contributor with
"Our Government is proud to support companies like Vaperma that develop
leading-edge clean technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and
stimulate the economy," said Jacques Gourde, Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister of Natural Resources. "In Budget 2007, we invested $2 billion to
support the production of renewable fuels. Investing in projects like this
will make it possible for Canada to become a world leader in biofuels
was successful in the initial ethanol dehydration field trial of
the first membrane system that took place at GreenField's Tiverton, Ontario
plant. Today, we look forward to the results of the next demonstration phase
to validate the commercial viability and performance of this new dewatering
system prior to its commercialization in 2008," says Robert Gallant, President
and CEO of GreenField Ethanol.
"The pilot dewatering membrane process is scheduled to go into production
in the fall of 2007 with a production capacity of 20 m3 per day or the
equivalent of about six per cent of our Chatham fuel ethanol plant production.
We are very confident that Vaperma's membrane system will help us cut our
energy requirements and reduce our costs," says Gallant.
Gerry Protti, Executive Vice-President, Corporate Relations, and
President, Offshore and International Division, EnCana Corporation
"EnCana believes that innovative, collaborative partnerships such as this
offer a compelling path forward towards more efficient, lower-cost, and
cleaner processes within our industry.
EnCana is pleased to be a partner in providing financial support and a
future pilot demonstration site for the testing of Vaperma's membrane system
for the dehydration of natural gas. This project is an ideal fit with our
company's Environmental Innovation Fund, which was created to finance projects
supporting the development, demonstration and, ultimately, the
commercialization of innovative, clean energy technologies."
Vicky J. Sharpe, President and CEO, Sustainable Development Technology
(SDTC) adds: "Vaperma is a great example of Canadian clean technology
innovation that has the potential to be a world market leader.
By helping Canadian companies like Vaperma to overcome hurdles of the
pre-commercial phase, SDTC plays an important role in increasing the
likelihood that our companies' innovations hit the marketplace, thus offering
better choices in the reshaping of our economy. In this way, the investment is
as much economic as it is environmental."
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