When Emerald facility started operating in 1992, the only energy product we produced was electricity. The original turbine was a single stage condensing turbine which produced electricity for use on site. Any surplus electricity was fed into the Ontario grid.
In 2021, Emerald replaced the original turbine with a two-stage turbine to improve the energy recovery efficiency. The new turbine produces both electricity and saturated steam. We continue to supply electricity to our site and to feed any net electricity produced into the Ontario grid.
FUTURE ENERGY PRODUCTS
Emerald continually looks for opportunities to produce energy products that provide value to our community. We are looking at other energy products including:
Emerald is interested in pursuing a pilot project to commercialize local hydrogen production. By using excess power produced at our plant, Emerald could produce up to 500 kg of electrolytic hydrogen per day.
The hydrogen produced through electrolysis could be used to help de-carbon our operations by displacing some of the natural gas we use in our process. The oxygen produced in the electrolysis process could be used to reduce volume of flue gas produced our energy recovery process. Reduced flue gas volume could reduce both our parasitic electricity demand and the emission of nitrogen oxides.
Alternatively, the hydrogen we produce could be used to reduce contaminant and carbon emissions from the transportation sector. Electrolytic hydrogen is suitable for direct use in established fuel cell vehicles such as buses and trains. The hydrogen could be delivered to a customer within 100 km of Brampton at a cost that is competitive with current diesel prices.
The hydrogen pilot could also be used as a combustion supplement for diesel trucks, buses or trains. Co-combusting hydrogen with diesel improves fuel efficiency and virtually eliminates soot and contaminant emissions. Using hydrogen as a diesel fuel supplement could be a bridge technology to enable the community to realize the environmental benefits of hydrogen while commercial fuel cell technologies are developed.
Emerald is very interested in producing hydrogen and is actively seeking pilot project partners.
Emerald is also interested in developing district energy in the Bramalea Rd/407 area. District heating would use low pressure steam from the Emerald facility to provide heat to local industries, warehouses or large residential buildings. Supplying steam from our energy recovery operations would allow district heating customers to eliminate the use of natural gas for heating their facilities.
Emerald is very interested in discussing district heat opportunities with commercial property owners or developers in the Bramalea Rd/407 area.