Ridgetown Campus Gets $2.6 Million

April 12, 2010 - Campus Bulletin

The University of Guelph's Ridgetown Campus has received more than $2.6 million from the federal government for biofuel research and development. The money will be used to construct an anaerobic digester, which uses manure to create energy through the burning of methane, and a demonstration laboratory.

“The University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus has always been a leader in agriculture research and development,” said Dave Van Kesteren, MP for Chatham-Kent Essex, who was at Ridgetown Friday to make the announcement. “With this investment, we are ensuring they will continue to lead in the growing renewable energy sector.”

Art Schaafsma, Ridgetown Campus director, said the investment is a “huge boost in stimulating the emerging bioeconomy.” It will provide commercialization, development, research and training opportunities. The anaerobic digester will be one of only a few such renewable energy source facilities in Ontario. The digester recovers methane from animal waste through anaerobic (or airless) digestion. The technology processes the waste to produce electricity, waste heat and fertilizer, among other things.

This is the second major federal investment in the Ontario Agricultural College’s Centre for Agricultural Renewable Energy and Sustainability (CARES). Based at Ridgetown, it is a hub for applied and adaptive research, training and education, technology transfer, and rural community development in bioenergy and the bioeconomy.

The money comes from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario through the Community Adjustment Fund. That two-year, $1-billion national program is intended to meet the short-term economic needs of communities hit hardest by the global economic recession.

* An article about this research development appeared this week in the London Free Press.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1