Leftovers make up around 60% of the original harvest by weight and are sometimes exported or fed to livestock, however, Dalai said. paNOW it could also be used as a power source.
“We really don’t use the leftover materials to make money for our farmers or really anything.”
The biggest challenge right now is turning canola meal into pellets. Dalai noted that they had recently obtained the necessary equipment to make this happen.
After creating the pellets, they will need to ensure that they can be stored and transported to facilities where they can be burned to produce heat and electricity.
Then testing can begin to determine if pellets can actually do the job that coal and natural gas currently do.
“It’s a matter of mass production and seeing if the quality is maintained. If moisture gets into the pellet, it can crumble and lose its mechanical strength,” Dalai added.
They also plan to look at other crops such as canola hull, mustard meal and hull, and oat hull.
Dalai thinks they should find out if all these crops can be a good source of bioenergy within five to ten years.
He added that support from the federal government and energy companies, especially to help with the technology needed to make this happen, would make that timeline realistic.
“Fossil fuels, the industry is definitely going to last the next 50 to 100 years. Without working together, it’s hard to be successful.
If canola meal becomes a possibility, it could be a big boost to Saskatchewan’s economy.
In 2019, Canada produced over 18 million tonnes of canola, with the province accounting for around 10 million tonnes.
Saskatchewan also accounts for nearly half of Canada’s current farmland.
Canada remains one of the main exporting countries, which means that all the pellets developed could be sold in international markets.
Dalai thinks its environmental appeal would also be a big plus, helping to attract more investment.
“It would be a win-win situation for everyone involved… looks good and also brings in a lot of income for people.”
On Twitter: @princealbertnow