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Demonstration of a manufacturing process for biocarbon briquettes for the metallurgical industry

Strategic Area

Forestry - Technology and Innovation
Advanced materials and bioproducts




Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks (Quebec)
Transition énergétique Québec


Clean Growth Program



CGP Contribution

$ 5,000,000

Project Total

$ 18,813,164


Chicoutimi, QC

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Elkem Metal Canada Inc.

Lead Proponent

Elkem Metal Canada

Project Objectives

The objective of this project is to demonstrate the technico-economic feasibility of a process for producing biocarbon briquettes for use in the making of ferrosilicon, which is used as an alloying element when making steel.

If successful, Elkem intends to replace 43,000 tonnes of coal per year, used at its Chicoutimi plant in Quebec, with 37,000 tonnes of biocarbon.

Expected Results

The technological innovation involves manufacturing biocarbon briquettes with a new pyrolysis process that utilizes forest biomass (chips, sawdust, wood shavings, etc.). Replacing mineral coal with biocarbon briquettes will make it possible to almost entirely reduce GHG emissions from fossil coal. Once biocarbon has replaced all of the fossil coal used at the Elkem plant—43,000 tonnes per year—total GHG reductions will amount to 100,000 tonnes per year, which is one of the most ambitious targets for the Saguenay region at a single industrial facility.

The project is also expected to result in a significant reduction in GHGs, and will enable the local forest industry to find a new stable outlet for its sawdust and wood planing residues.  Results could also include an increase in job opportunities in the wood industry sector, while generating additional investments by 2026.

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