Queen's partners with companies to develop sustainable energy sources
The Sustainable Bioeconomy Centre at Queen's is partnering with the country's largest cement manufacturer, Lafarge North America Inc. and a Kingston-based biotechnology company, Performance Plants Inc., to grow and develop clean energy biomass grasses and woods. The energy will be used as fuel at the Lafarge Cement Plant in Bath. For Lafarge, the joint project is part of the company's public commitment to reduce its carbon footprint, including the use of renewable and local fuel alternatives.
The four-year agreement is an opportunity to create enhanced, non-food crops that are able to be grown on less productive farmland as well as an assessment of the full potential of non-food plant species as fuel. By combining crop types and Performance Plants' unique trait technologies, fuel users will be able to create a customized biomass fuel to meet their specific needs. “Our technology will be instrumental to develop next-generation seeds that are customized for specific industrial users looking for alternative clean energy sources,” says Peter Matthewman, president of Performance Plants.
John Gerretson, MPP for Kingston and The Islands, praised the initiative. “I commend Lafarge and Performance Plants as well and Queen's University and the Kemptville Campus of Guelph University for this innovative research project into sustainable energy sources,” he says. “This is exactly the kind of initiative that will contribute to achieving our greenhouse gas reduction objectives.”