It has been nearly a year since Canfor went public  with  its exploration of creating bio-crude from pulp operation waste streams.

“We are continuing to develop  the project  from a demonstration plant level to a commercial level” says Martin Pudlas, Vice President of Operations for Canfor Pulp.

That’s a huge step in the development of a sustainable fuel. “It’s a very big step,   if it was easy, someone would have done it already.”

Pudlas says full time resources have been allocated to the project which is being done in partnership with Licella Fibre Fuels of Australia. ” We continue to work with a number of companies  that have come forward, interested in the off take,  which demonstrates that once  we make this product  it’s going to have very  good value in the marketplace.”

Pudlas says   some of the product has been  sent to a  refiner, which has “qualified  it  for use in the refineries,  no its a matter of  being able to make that product on a continuous basis.”  He says that is phase they are in now and it will be a  long journey.

While the  bio-crude can be used to create fuels  for traditional uses,  it can also be used to  create a wide variety of  chemicals,  not unlike its fossil fuel cousin.

Key  to the equation of  this venture  being  sustainable is knowing  just how much bio-crude can be produced  from the waste stream on a continual basis, “A rough number   is  you would get a barrel of  crude from every half ton of fibre” says Pudlas “or a different way of looking at it,  for every oven dried ton of fibre you can make two  barrels of crude oil.”

Pudlas says  the capital costs of developing a full bio crude production facility  still have to be worked out,  but  says down the road, its believed this  product would have a competitive price with oil  being extracted  from the  oil sands in Alberta..