Advanced Clean Energy program: Low-carbon fuels


The Low-carbon fuels pillar of the NRC's Advanced Clean Energy program works with collaborators to develop technologies that produce clean and secure energy, and that eliminate hazardous or contaminated waste.

We aim to enable fuel switching by using negative-value waste streams and feedstocks for the production of low-carbon fuels. We also support and demonstrate the efficient use of low-carbon fuels in various applications including transportation and power generation.

By delivering clearly defined cost and technical performance outcomes, the Advanced Clean Energy program's low-carbon fuel research, analysis and demonstration activities will increase business revenue and market opportunities for technology developers and suppliers while reducing energy-generation costs for electrical utilities and end users.


We offer clients access to world-class competencies and unique and specialized facilities conveniently located at NRC sites across the country.

Waste material characterization

Waste-to-fuel conversion processes

  • Biochemical processes
    • Advanced anaerobic digestion systems
    • Bioelectrochemical systems
    • Biological upgrading of biogas and syngas to renewable natural gas
    • Biological conversion of waste gases for hydrogen production streams
  • Thermochemical processes
    • Small-scale gasification
    • Hydrothermal liquefaction
    • Hydrothermal gasification
    • Hydrothermal carbonization
    • Fuel and gas clean-up and upgrading

Renewable fuel utilization

  • Reciprocating engines
    • Single-fuel and dual-fuel combustion optimization and emission reduction
    • Turbine engines
    • System integration – microgrid

Research facilities

Ottawa, Ontario

  • Combustion facilities
    • Fuel characterization and upgrade
    • Homogenous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engine test cell
    • Fuel flexible compression ignition heavy-duty engine test cell
    • Fuel flexible compression ignition power generation engine test cell
    • Emission analyzers
  • Gas turbine laboratory
  • Solid biofuel characterization lab
  • Downdraft gasifier combined heat and power (CHP) system
  • Hydrothermal liquefaction

Vancouver, British Columbia

Montreal, Québec

  • Anaerobic bioprocessing pilot plant
  • Bioprocesses and bioengineering development for biofuels production
    • Microbiological lab-scale testing
    • Pre-treatment/conditioning systems
    • Bench/lab-scale bioreactor systems
    • Bench/lab-scale bioelectrochemical systems
    • Biomolecular systems and analysis
    • Analytical lab
    • Gas fermentation bioreactors
    • Mobile anaerobic digestion unit

Contact us

James Butler, Technical Lead, Low-carbon Fuels
Telephone: 613-998-9761

Adam Shales, Client Relationship Leader
Telephone: 613-991-3245

Targeted industries

Solid waste management, wastewater treatment, agriculture, food processing/production, mining, oil and gas, utilities, systems integrators (defence, aerospace, engineering), power plant equipment manufacturers and suppliers (gas turbines, reciprocating engines, combined heat and power units), bioenergy technology developers (anaerobic digestion, gasification, hydrothermal liquefaction, hydrothermal carbonization), fuel producers, fuel end users.

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