Projects - Memorial University
Location: St. John’s
Funding Amount: $81,000
Sector: Education, Policy and Research
Current Status: In Progress
Estimate GHG reduction Potential: Unknown
A Memorial University research project will investigate the possibility of converting marine waste to an environmentally friendly biofuel. With assistance of $81,000 from the Newfoundland and Labrador Green Fund, Dr. Kelly Hawboldt, Associate Professor with the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, will determine the feasibility of using fish oil as a blend with petroleum-based fuel for powering fish plants and marine vessels.
The research will determine if it is feasible to blend fish oil-derived biofuel with existing fuels to meet the energy requirements of fish plants or vessels by using small-scale processing systems. This project will complement the considerable amount of research and commercial application that fuels of this type have generated over the past decade.
Biofuels are fuels derived from plant material and residues such as agricultural crops, waste from animal processing, or by-products from agricultural or forestry initiatives. In cases where an engine is flexible in terms of fuel quality and a lower quality biofuel oil can be used, the oil from the processing of vegetables and animals can be directly used for power generation and heating. There are lower emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and other toxins throughout the production, use and disposal of these biofuels.
While the total reductions of GHGs will depend on the type of conversion technology used, as well as the species of fish processed, 13-74 per cent reductions are possible. Furthermore, all other regulated emissions such as suphur dioxide and particulate matter can potentially decrease by 10 to 50 per cent with biofuel use.
The other members of Dr. Hawboldt’s research team are: Dr. Robert Helleur, Professor of Chemistry, Memorial University; Dr. Michael Pegg, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Head of the Department of Process Engineering and Applied Science, Dalhousie University; and Heather Manuel, Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development, Marine Institute.