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Sustainability should be top of mind for any company that wants to stay in the game in today’s world.

As important a role as Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions play, we also need to focus on noxious emissions versus coal.

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) stations have been running coal-free since 2014, and the changeover has made it possible to decrease not just GHG emissions but also nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide and mercury emissions.

OPG says emissions from wood-based biomass generation contain 75 per cent less nitrogen oxide than coal emissions and virtually no sulphur dioxide.

According to OPG’s annual Sustainability Performance Report, thermal atmospheric emissions for sulphur dioxide were reduced by 11,160 tonnes from 2011 to 2015.

Nitrogen oxides were reduced by 5,411 tonnes in the same time period. Most improved is mercury that went from 43kg of emissions in 2011 to zero in 2015 — being 100 per cent mercury free is a pretty good thing.

You can compare more numbers from the report below and check out OPG’s thermal atmospheric emission rates as well.

Thermal atmospheric emissions
Sulphur Dioxide (tonnes):
  • 2015: 104 tonnes
  • 2014: 550
  • 2013: 9,812
  • 2012: 9,705
  • 2011: 11,264
Nitrogen Oxides (tonnes, as NO2):
  • 2015: 383
  • 2014: 654
  • 2013: 4,989
  • 2012: 6,515
  • 2011: 5,794
Mercury (kilograms):
  • 2015: 0 kg
  • 2014: 2.3 kg
  • 2013: 28 kg
  • 2012: 25 kg
  • 2011: 43 kg
Thermal Atmospheric Emission Rates
Sulphur Dioxide (tonnes/GWh-net):
  • 2015: 0.16
  • 2014: 0.76
  • 2013: 3.44
  • 2012: 2.38
  • 2011: 3.03
Nitrogen Oxides (tonnes/GWh-net, as NO2):
  • 2015: 0.52
  • 2014: 0.84
  • 2013: 1.75
  • 2012: 1.60
  • 2011: 1.56

For information on the domestic side click here.

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Power Generation

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Sustainable power

The vast majority of Canadian wood pellets are made from sawmill residuals - sawdust. The rest are made from the residuals from harvesting operations for sawmills and pulp mills, or low-grade timber from forest industry harvest sites that has no other economic value. Think firewood. Read more...

Breathing easier - pellet emissions vs coal

Sustainability should be top of mind for any company that wants to stay in the game in today’s world.

As important a role as Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions play, we also need to focus on noxious emissions versus coal.

Read more...

Industry News

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  • Drax, GB Railfrieght, extend contract to transport biomass

    GB Railfreight (GBRf) and Drax have agreed to extend their contract to transport supplies of sustainable biomass from UK ports to Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire until 2025. Teams at GBRf have worked closely with Drax for the past[…]

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  • Remotely powerful: Nine rural communities’ experience with bioenergy – Part 3

    Remotely powerful: Nine rural communities’ experience with bioenergy – Part 3 [Editor’s note: this article is the third in a series of four. Part 4 online next week.] In early 2020, CanmetENERGY, part of Natural Resources Canada, carried out interviews with nine pioneering rural and remote communities that have installed bioenergy[…]

    Read more...

The Pellet Advantage

Efficient and Plentiful Production

Wood Pellet Association of Canada members are world leaders in the design and operation of modern pellet plants.

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Innovating our way to a safer, better product

Wood pellets are a safe, reliable modern fuel. But they are still a fuel, requiring care in producing, shipping and storing.

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Renewable and sustainable? Energy really can grow on trees.

There is no single energy source capable of solving our dependence on fossil fuels. Instead we need to look to a mix of new fuels, including wood pellets.

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