HOW we can help

Your Willow crop expert

Bionera Resources provides project management services and feedstock solutions to: 

  • Municipalities wanting alternate solutions to waste water and biosolid management
  • Heat and power plant managers who want to use purpose-grown woody biomass to stabilize their energy supply and costs, reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and shrink their carbon footprint.
  • Independent growers wanting to establish, cultivate and harvest elite varieties of willow for use as clean energy.

 

For municipalities, we can help you:

  • assess potential sites for willow crops used to filter municipal wastewater or biosolids
  • establish a reliable, long-term field for your phytoremediation needs
  • provide support during crop establishment, growing, and harvesting

 

For industrial and other energy users, we can help you:

  • evaluate the cost of local purpose-grown biomass feedstock
  • establish a reliable, long-term supply of woody biomass
  • integrate a bioenergy plan with cost-effective supplemental feedstocks

 

For independent growers, our services include:

  • clarifying multiple benefits associated with growing woody biomass
  • demonstrating how woody energy crops fit with their agricultural model
  • assessing a growing site and creating a plan for crop implementation, harvesting and fuel delivery
  • support during crop establishment, growing and harvesting

 

We can also help you evaluate the use of purpose-grown woody biomass for:

  • coal-bed methane production water treatment
  • torrefaction
  • cellulosic ethanol and other fuels
  • biomass pellet plants

To learn more out how you can grow your own energy, contact us today.

 

Bionera's Egedal crew planting new cuttings Willow plantation on marginal farm land
Municipal wastewater treatment Biomass harvest for energy

 

Why Bionera?

Our commitment to helping our customers establish, plant and harvest their own energy crops is backed by decades of growing expertise.

An experienced grower

Bionera is a wholly owned subsidiary of PRT Growing Services Ltd.  Since its formation in 1988, PRT has grown to become the largest producer of container grown forest seedlings in North America. PRT has produced more than three billion forest seedlings in intensely managed growing systems. Today, PRT operates a network of nurseries in Canada and the US with an annual combined production capacity that exceeds 200 million seedlings.

Bionera and PRT have been working on purpose-grown biomass for 15 years, growing hybrid willow and poplar as biomass crops. Drawing on this knowledge and expertise, Bionera evaluates and recommends willow crops that are site-specific and suit each client’s needs. 

Bionera has established the largest willow plantation in North America near Strathmore, Alberta where, in conjunction with Sylvis Environmental, biosolids from the City of Calgary are being applied to marginal farm land.  Willow then acts as a bio-filter that absorbs excess nutrients generated by the biosolids.  Willow root action and leaf litter will help improve the soils over time.

We also operate an integrated bioenergy project at the PRT Red Rock nursery near Prince George, BC. This experience leaves us well positioned to help you evaluate biomass handling methods and energy crops.

Bionera is a founding member of the Willow Biomass Energy Group, which has planted close to 3,000 acres of willow in North America. Our association with this unique organization enables our customers to access the industry leading resources, know-how and growing capabilities of our group partners.

A collaborative, knowledgeable partner

We help customers break through the complexities of and mitigate the risks associated with planning and designing energy crop plantations.

Municipal waste managers, energy producers, and independent growers seeking to produce clean energy from woody biomass often require answers to questions, such as:

  • Which biomass feedstocks are sustainable, secure and predictable?
  • How do I design, plant and manage purpose-grown biomass plantations?
  • What are the real and sometimes hidden risks?

We can help you answer these questions and make informed choices to help you plan, design and implement your energy crop to optimize environmental benefits and economic returns.

Willow Biomass Group

The Willow Biomass Energy Group combines the resources, know-how and extensive growing capabilities of Bionera Resources, Double A Willow and Agro Énergie. The group provides North American customers with genetically advanced willow cuttings and proven field and growing management that delivers consistent finished woody biomass.

As a member of this group, Bionera has the ability and resources to address biomass needs from small applications, such as small wastewater treatment fields, right up to oversized plantations designed to receive urban biosolids from larger cities.

Our family of willow hybrids is fast-growing, low maintenance and disease and pest-resistant. Supported by two decades of shrub willow research and breeding work at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) and Cornell University, these hybrids are bred specifically for use as biomass crops, delivering a high energy ratio, upright growth for ease of mechanical harvesting, frequent harvest cycles and a long lifespan.  They are also adaptable to a wide range of agricultural sites and have minimal requirements for fertilizers or pesticides.

We are committed to making elite varieties of willow a key component of North America’s energy resources, by applying the best available agricultural methods for establishment and processing, optimizing cutting production and advocating for this stable, renewable crop source.

Red Rock bioenergy project

Operated at the PRT Red Rock nursery in northern British Columbia, our commercial-scale bioenergy project uses woody biomass grown on-site to heat more than two acres of forest seedling greenhouses.

In 2009, we planted a short rotation intensive culture (SRIC) crop of willow and poplar on 75 acres of former bare root seedling fields. Initial harvesting began in 2011.  Willow crop are harvested, stored, and then converted into heat using high-efficiency, low-emission bioenergy boiler technology developed in BC.

The system supplies 9,000 gigajoules (8,540 million BTU) of heat energy annually, effectively displacing about 500 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from natural gas combustion. Additionally, the nursery, which produces six to ten million forest seedlings annually, benefits from reduced heating costs. Future biomass crops will be added to help provide a consistent supply every year, with the plantation life expected to be 25 to 30 years.

Bionera’s Red Rock bioenergy project is supported by British Columbia’s Innovative Clean Energy Fund and by the Industrial Research Assistance Program of National Research Council Canada.

  
Willow harvesting (chipping) Willow stumps, post harvest
PRT Red Rock biomass storage facility PRT Red Rock boiler assembly