Alberta Biomaterials: What Are Biomaterials?

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Nature Knows Fibre: Alberta Knows Technology

Alberta Biomaterials Initiative – Advancing Renewable Solutions

The Alberta Biomaterials Initiative helps industry create new products from Alberta’s abundant agriculture, forestry and processing side streams. Biomaterials are a key driver advancing Alberta’s low carbon economy.

We are catalysts for the development of a diverse biomaterials industry in Alberta.

We support the growth of Alberta businesses, supply chains and regional clusters through local innovation and attraction of international technology to transform Alberta’s bio-resources into high performance products and technology platforms.

What are biomaterials?

Biomaterials are products made from renewable agriculture and forestry based feedstocks. These feedstocks can be waste from agriculture and food processing, purpose grown crops, harvested trees or a blend of each.

With today’s technology advancements they can be made into products like:

  • Auto parts
  • Green building products like hempcrete building systems, insulation, biobased panels, and cement additives
  • Erosion control and remediation of disturbed lands
  • Recreational apparatus like kayaks and skateboards
  • Packaging
  • Bioresins and bioplastics
  • Natural textiles for athletic performance and protective industries
Why biomaterials?
Biomaterials offer economic, environmental and health benefits including additional revenue sources to farmers, diversifying local and regional economies, more jobs, reducing greenhouse gases and limiting product toxicity.

Alberta Advantages – Feedstock Supply, Manufacturing, and Market Access
Alberta has an abundance of feedstocks from forestry and agriculture to create biomaterial products. The close proximity of the forestry and agricultural industries and our advanced logistical network, creates highly accessible feedstock volumes and quality.

Alberta has an advanced manufacturing ecosystem, including those to support which globally recognized oil and gas, food and agriculture, and technology industry supply chains.

Alberta is well positioned with several major TransCanada, cross border to the United States and global transportation corridors for trucking, rail and intermodal support to tide water ports. Canada participates in several Trade Agreements, in addition Alberta is involved in a number of Memorandums of Agreement to initiate regional trade and innovation.

Unlocking Biomaterial Potential – Pathways to Innovation and Collaborative Research
Alberta has several other leading research and development capacities. This includes the Government of Alberta investment in a $3.9 million decortication facility for bast fibres such as hemp and flax. This cornerstone of biomaterials development offers North America’s largest biomass research and development processing capacity.

These foundational investments to enhance our technological abilities, as well as proactive initiatives to access key markets and industry networks and funding and financial support programs make Alberta the ideal destination to commercialize new biomaterial products.

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Lori-Jo Graham.
This document is maintained by Rita Splawinski.
This information published to the web on July 19, 2017.
Last Reviewed/Revised on September 8, 2017.