March 1, 2015 9:28 pm
Updated: March 2, 2015 2:14 pm

Biofuel research at University of Saskatchewan gets a funding boost

The federal government announces biofuel research investment of over half-a-million dollars to the University of Saskatchewan.

Vytai Brannan / Global News

SASKATOON – Biofuel producers in western Canada could soon be able to purify and convert ray glycerol more cost-effectively. The federal government announced an investment of nearly $540,000 to the University of Saskatchewan on Friday.

Researchers will be able to purchase equipment for the development and commercialization of new, more efficient and affordable glycerol purification and conversion technologies. Glycerol is a by-product of processing canola into biodiesel and is used in many food and pharmaceutical products.

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“What this project allows for is, right now we have when we manufacture bio fuel we have an off shoot which is a low-grade glycerol so this is going to allow us to purify it so that it can go to a higher grade market particularly a medical market,” said Janice Tranberg, SaskCanola executive director.

“It will give some benefit from this product that is currently considered a waste product.”

READ MORE: Saskatoon research partnership develops innovative technology

The U of S plans to develop patents for the purification and conversion technologies.

The Canada government says the university’s purification technology could double the price that companies charge for glycerol and in-turn add more value to biodiesel production.

Half of the country’s 23 biodiesel companies are in western Canada, producing over 500 litres of biodiesel and 50 million litres of glycerol annually.

With files from Aaron Streck

© 2015 Shaw Media

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