Canadian Manufacturing

$7.5M for biomass company

Nexterra to expand syngas technology with help from BDC

VANCOUVER—Nexterra Systems Corp., a biomass gasification company in Vancouver, B.C., has scored $17.5-million in equity financing from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), the Tandem Expansion Fund and ARC Financial.

Nexterra will use the financing to advance its heat and power-generation technology.

Currently, one of the company’s largest projects is the installation of a biomass-combined heat and power (CHP) system to the University of British Columbia—the first installation of its kind in North America.

The new CHP system will convert urban wood waste into clean burning synthetic gas (syngas). It’s scheduled for commissioning in the final quarter of 2011.

Nexterra has also recently earned contracts with the US Department of Energy, Johnson Controls, the University of Montana, and Kruger Products.

The company’s technology involves bottom-feeding wood waste into the centre of a dome-shaped, refractory lined gasifier. Combustion air, steam and/or oxygen are introduced into the base of the fuel pile.

Partial oxidation, pyrolysis and gasification occur at 815 to 980 degrees Celsius, converting the fuel into syngas and non-combustible ash.

The ash migrates to the base of the gasifier and is removed intermittently through an automated in-floor ash grate.

Tony Van Bommel, Partner, BDC Energy/Clean Technologies Venture Fund said the market for onsite biomass heat and power systems is poised for serious growth in the coming years.

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