The POS Pilot Plant in Saskatoon will receive $911,000 in government funding to buy and install equipment that purifies ingredients derived from plant-based feedstocks grown in Western Canada.
The equipment will be used in a process known as short path distillation (SPD) and will produce purified ingredients that can be used by the agri-food, biofuel, functional food and nutraceutical industries.
When the equipment is operational, the POS Pilot Plant will be the first commercial organization in Canada to offer short path distillation services on a contract basis.
Funding for the project includes $461,000 through Agriculture Canada’s Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program and $450,000 from Western Economic Diversification.
“Commercial scale short path distillation equipment in POS would be the first of its kind in Canada,” said Rick Green, vice-president of technology at POS Bio-Sciences.
“Small and medium sized businesses in Western Canada will benefit by finally being able to export value-added extracts from feedstock grown in Western Canada.”
Green said several companies in the West have products ready to export, but they require access to commercial scale SPD equipment to realize the full potential of those products.
“This project … will help Canadians capture those opportunities,” he said.
Short path distillation separates specific substances or fractions from feedstocks in a process that involves repeated evaporation and condensation.
Short path distillation reduces the distance that a liquid or distillate must travel between vaporization and condensation, which allows greater volumes of material to be processed in a shorter period of time.
Applications would include purification of vegetable oil derived from oilseeds or the removal of pesticide residues from other liquid ingredients derived from plants.
The equipment is expected to result in greater value-added processing of grain, fruit and oil produced in Western Canada.