Biorefining Research Institute

The Forest Sector is one of Canada’s pillars for economic development and prosperity. Canada is the world’s largest producer of newsprint and bleached softwood pulp, and the world’s largest supplier of well-managed, high quality conifer wood fibre from the Boreal Forest. However, due to the increasing offshore competition, fluctuating oil and commodity prices, and demand for green technologies, the Canadian pulp and paper industry needs to diversify its products and markets, in order to increase its revenues and remain competitive. Therefore, there is a growing need for the industry to evolve and convert to Integrated Forest Biorefineries for the simultaneous production of biofuels, biochemicals, wood fibers, and green power.

Biorefineries are our oil refineries of the future where oil is inevitably replaced by plant biomass – the most abundant and renewable resource on earth. BRI is based on the Biorefinery concept for complete utilization of lignocellulosic biomass for sustainable production of bioenergy and value-added bioproducts. We strive to synergistically employ various production and conversion platforms of the Forest Biorefinery in cost-effective and environmentally-friendly manner in order to maximize the value extracted from the wood fiber.

We are an Exceptional Institute

BRI is the only academic institution of its kind that mobilizes the expertise, experience, and passion of an enthusiastic and multidisciplinary research team to the benefit of the Canadian forest industry. As an institute, we work together to explore a wide range of topics and expand our Biorefining knowledge locally, nationally, and globally and to transfer our new technologies to the growing Canadian bioindustry. By taking advantage of all aspects of Biorefining, BRI creates novel research and development opportunities, new technology models and jobs, and value-added products from renewable resources that ultimately lead to reduced dependence on fossil fuels and lower greenhouse gas emissions. This is a challenge but an opportunity for us too to help transition our global society to a bio-based economy.

We Work to Transform Industries

Our BRI research and training program is aligned with the Vision 2020 challenge of Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC). Vision 2020 is a challenge to the forest products industry, governments and partners to push industry transformation, with a goal by 2020 to generate an additional $20 billion from new innovations that lead to new products and growing markets. Also, Forest Biorefining is a top research priority at Lakehead University, and connects directly to two of the Canadian Federal Government’s Science and Technologies strategic priorities: Environmental Science and Technologies and  Natural Resources and Energy.