SYLVIS is utilizing an innovative approach to reclaim old mines that produces biomass for feedstock. Known as the BIOSALIX program, the $10.4 million project uses municipal biosolids and other organic residuals to add to the existing topsoil at the mine which is then used to grow highly productive, fast-growing willow trees as a biomass crop. The willow trees sequester carbon while simultaneously producing a woody biomass that can be harvested and used as feedstock for clean energy, reclamation, and bioproduct development.
The initiative is being undertaken at the Westmoreland Coal Company’s Paintearth Mine near Forestburg, Alberta, in partnership with EPCOR Water Services, Westmoreland Coal Company, Alberta Innovates, Bionera Resources, and Natural Resources Canada-Canadian Forest Service. ERA committed $2.1 million to the project through its Partnership Intake Program.