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2021 Value of Biogas West Conference Speakers


The 2021 Value of Biogas speaker line up will be announced in early October. Stay Tuned!

Portrait of Daniel Bida

Abstract: A case study and review of the lessons learned developing a community owned biogas plant at the Toronto Zoo.

Biography: Daniel holds a B. Comm from McMaster University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. Daniel started his career as a credit and ESG analyst focusing on the global utility sector before starting ReGenerate Biogas in 2010 to pursue development of biogas projects. Daniel is passionate about finding solutions where the waste, energy and food sectors overlap.

Portrait of Chris Bush

Abstract: Most on-farm digesters are managed reactively, with little real-time information available. This presentation will discuss combining multiple real-time information gathering devices on digesters and building them into a single time aligned stack, all while intense microbiome analysis is carried out through to controlled biological crashes. From this data, systems can be programmed to recognize signals and respond automatically.

Biography: In 2006 Chris was looking for an idea and stumbled on anaerobic digestion. In 2010 Chris commissioned the first on-farm biogas plant in British Columbia, the first in North America to sell gas to a utility rather than make electricity. In 2012 Catalyst Power became Fraser Valley Biogas, and Chris left with a million dollar’s worth of education. Since then, Chris has continued to pursue the vision of a fully integrated on-farm biorefinery with nutrient recovery and upcycling. You might find his picture in a modern dictionary beside the entry for Tenacity.

Portrait of Enrico Calzavacca

Abstract: Globally, compressed and liquified RNG is providing a significant contribution to the decarbonization of liquid fuels. The required technology and approach for compressing and liquifying RNG depend heavily upon type of feedstock and end use of the RNG. This presentation will provide some examples of different technologies and applications used globally to liquefy and compress RNG.

Biography: Boasting extensive experience in conception, design and development of gas treatment technologies, cogeneration, and biogas plants, as well as fire prevention systems, Enrico is instrumental in AB’s successful expansion into renewable natural gas production. Prior to his appointment as Chief Technology Innovation Officer, Enrico led AB’s manufacturing operations as COO since 2011, managing over 200+ employees, while overseeing substantial growth in the production of hundreds of power and renewable energy generation systems annually. Enrico is a registered Engineer in Italy, having received his Master’s Degree in Electronic Engineering at the University of Brescia in 1998.

Portrait of Michael Cant

Abstract: As Canada embarks on historic investment in infrastructure to tackle climate change and transition to a circular economy, the use of public private partnerships (P3s) to develop biogas plants is becoming increasingly problematic. While the P3 model has been successful across a range of asset classes, its application to large scale municipal biogas plants has been attributed to increased project costs and financial risks, schedule delays, contractual disputes, overbudgeting and cancellations.

Biography: Michael is a Principal at GHD working out of the Peterborough, Ontario office. He has been actively involved in the waste management industry for a few years. He has been involved in a number of procurements as Owner’s Engineer for organics processing facilities in Canada.

Portrait of Noah Carlson

Abstract: In this agriculture case study, Noah Carlson will discuss the process and challenges of successfully developing an RNG project for a large dairy farm. For this project, BIOFerm implemented several processes to convert digester gas into CNG, including biological desulfurization, biogas conditioning, pressure swing adsorption, and CNG compression technologies.

Biography: Originally from Grand Rapids, MI, Noah joined BIOFerm Energy Systems in 2021 as the Application Engineer. In his role, Noah focuses on developing potential projects from their onset all the way through to project execution. Noah attended college at Michigan State University and majored in Biosystems Engineering with a concentration in bioenergy and bioproducts. Noah previously worked as a lab technician for MSU’s Anaerobic Digestion Research and Education Center, and he interned at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Noah is an avid biker and skier in his free time, and loves Italian food.

Portrait of Salomeh Chegini

Abstract: To enhance methane production from sludge, this study assessed the potential of heating combined with free nitrous acid (FNA)-based pre-treatment. FNA is a renewable, waste-derived chemical that can be generated directly from wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) as a by-product. Thermal energy is accessible at WWTPs with anaerobic sludge digestion and cogeneration systems. The combination of FNA and heat pre-treatment, if verified, could improve anaerobic digestion at WWTPs.

Biography: Salomeh Chegini is a Ph.D. candidate and teaching assistant at Ryerson University, in Toronto, Canada, in the program of Environmental Applied Science and Management. Currently, Salomeh is working on her Ph.D. research with the Environmental Research for Resource Recovery group under supervision of Dr. Elsayed. The focus of Salomeh’s research is energy and nutrient recovery from municipal waste by anaerobic digestion. Prior to studying at Ryerson University, Salomeh achieved an M.Sc in Chemical Engineering from École Polytechniqe de Montrèal, an M.Sc in Chemical Engineering - Biotechnology from Tehran Polytechnique University, and a B.Sc in Petrochemical Engineering from Tehran PolyTechnique University.

Portrait of Taylor Green

Abstract: As Canada embarks on historic investment in infrastructure to tackle climate change and transition to a circular economy, the use of public private partnerships (P3s) to develop biogas plants is becoming increasingly problematic. While the P3 model has been successful across a range of asset classes, its application to large scale municipal biogas plants has been attributed to increased project costs and financial risks, schedule delays, contractual disputes, overbudgeting and cancellations.

Biography: Taylor is a design and construction professional with 40 years of experience in the design, construction, and commissioning of all types of process related projects involving complex mechanical, electrical, and instrumentation systems. Taylor has over 15 years of related experience in multi-discipline design with one of the leading consulting engineering firms in Canada. Taylor also has over 25 years of experience in the design and construction of environmental and energy facilities, utilizing traditional, design-build and P3 delivery methods. Taylor is currently the Technical Director for Bird Construction Environmental Center of Excellence and works on energy and environmental projects across Canada.

Portrait of Alex Hayes

Abstract: Canada has a globally competitive pork industry where sustainability is driving large pork producers to set GHG reduction targets. Improved hog manure management can help pork producers meet these goals through preventing fugitive methane emissions and producing renewable energy. In this presentation, we discuss the forces driving interest in hog manure digestion, the types of projects getting built and the challenges and opportunities in developing hog manure projects in Canada.

Biography: Alex is a senior research engineer in InnoTech Alberta’s Bio Industrial Services Division. Alex joined InnoTech Alberta in 2014 where he plays a key role in helping industrial clients develop their anaerobic digestion projects by providing technical advice, and project de-risking through process validation via pilot studies and other technical consulting services. Alex has worked with domestic and international clients ranging from start-ups to large utilities and multi-national corporations in the agricultural, forestry, waste management, municipal, energy and utility sectors.

Portrait of Nils Hirsch

Abstract: PlanET Biogas Solutions has designed, constructed, and successfully commissioning a new biogas upgrading plant at Lethbridge Biogas. The PlanET Stateron Pressure Swing Adsorption Plant has 1,800 Nm3/h nominal raw biogas processing capacity and is injecting high quality RNG into the ATCO distribution grid 24/7 since August 2021. This joint presentation expands on operation experiences as well as design and construction considerations for this Albertan First.

Biography: Nils is General Manager of PlanET Biogas Solutions Inc., a leading supplier of anaerobic digester and RNG technology. Nil’s professional passions renewable energy and product innovation brought him from Germany to Canada in 2015 to join BRTP, a Nova Scotian tidal energy pioneer. Before relocating to Canada, Nils was working and researching in the field of product innovation and innovation management in the private and academic sector. Nils is graduated Mechanical Engineer from both Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany, and Ecole Centrale de Lyon, France.

Portrait of Bryan Johnson

Abstract: Anaerobic digestion (AD) has long been an effective method of waste treatment. However, when it comes to using the organic fraction of MSW as feedstock, it has encountered challenges. As a solution, thermal hydrolysis is proposed for making MSW a homogenous, stable, and pathogen free feedstock that is operationally and financially attractive for AD.

Biography: Bryan is the Vice President of Technical Sales at NOWON, leading the commercial expansion of thermal hydrolysis projects in North America. Bryan’s professional career has been focused on renewable energy and sustainability, with project development experience in the wastewater treatment and solid waste management sectors.

Portrait of Patrick Kiely

Abstract: Anaerobic digestors rely on complex microbial consortia to convert organic carbon into renewable biogas. One challenge operators face is understanding the impact changing/increasing organic load is having on these key microbial communities. The lack of reliable, real-time data from these digestors results in more cautious loading, reduced capacity and reduced biogas production. In this study bio-electrode sensors were used to monitor and optimize loading to municipal and industrial digester systems.

Biography: Patrick is passionate about the environment and making the world better through smarter decisions for water and wastewater treatment. Patrick understands that the power of competitive thought and process, when leveraged appropriately, can be the key tool for enabling a better environment for all.
Patrick is CEO and founder of SENTRY, a bio-electrode sensor platform that provides real-time microbial performance monitoring and optimization of anaerobic and aerobic wastewater treatment systems.

Portrait of Soheil Khiavi

Abstract: The key to improving the economics of biogas upgrading lies in attaining highest process efficiency. This presentation will discuss in-the-trenches experiences with different upgrading technologies that work best in certain situation, and why you should never confuse recovery with efficiency.

Biography: Soheil is a serial entrepreneur who has adapted his patented gas separation technology to create clean fuel opportunities. Soheil has worked in the high-tech energy field for more than two decades, and has published hundreds of patents in energy and gas processing. As a technology leader for both QuestAir Technologies and Xebec, Soheil developed rapid cycle pressure swing and kinetic adsorption products for hydrogen, oxygen and methane separation. Soheil founded Inventys (now Svante) in 2007 and was Chief Technology Officer until 2019. Soheil launched Hydron to broaden the application of his gas separation expertise to produce RNG and blue hydrogen.

Portrait of Brent Lyon

Abstract: Matter is developing a dry anaerobic digester (AD) in BC’s agricultural heartland. This project, which will be constructed in Clayhurst (near Fort St. John), will process cattle manure, waste crops and various silage feedstock with a rotating crop methodology. The project has secured a unique integration strategy with biogas being supplied to a local, raw gas network and upgraded at the Boundary Lake facility with the RNG shipped to Station 2.

Biography: Brent, PEng is Scovan Engineering’s Director of Business Development, with a strong focus on biogas projects. Prior to this, Brent was an executive recruiter for renewable energy and mining companies, a management strategic consultant, the chief feedstock negotiator for a 66 MW biomass-fueled power plant, and even an assistant brew master for the first craft brewery in Canada. Brent is a Professional Chemical engineer with an additional academic background in industrial microbiology.

Portrait of Joe Mazza

Abstract: The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Regulation (GGRR) governs the acquisition of renewable gas in B.C. The GGRR was amended in 2021 to accelerate renewable gas development for B.C.-based utilities. This presentation will be an overview of the changes and how they impact FortisBC’s future plans for renewable gas.

Biography: Joe is Vice President of Energy Supply & Resource Development at FortisBC overseeing leadership to Energy Supply (gas and electricity), Resource Development, Renewable Gas Development and marketing of Energy Solutions. Joe is responsible for leading and structuring low carbon energy projects and commercial agreements, including all aspects of FortisBC’s renewable gas business from supply to end-use customer programs. Joe brings 23 years experience in the energy industry, including positions at FortisBC, PNG, KPMG and Husky Energy. Joe is a professional engineer, holding a B.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of B.C. and an MBA from Royal Roads University.

Portrait of Sean Mezei

Abstract: Fraser Valley Biogas (FVB) is the first agricultural anaerobic RNG project in Canada and began operations in 2011. In the summer of 2021, FVB experienced unpresented ambient temperatures, including one day over 42oC and several days over 40oC. These high temperatures created operational challenges for the digesters, upgrading system and pipeline injection station. The operational challenges and improvements to system resiliency to tolerate high ambient temperatures will be reviewed.

Biography: Sean holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from UBC, an MBA from SFU, and has been a registered P.Eng. in BC since 1994. Sean has been heavily involved in the biogas sector for over 20 years, with a focus on biogas upgrading systems and project development. Sean is currently the COO of EverGen Infrastructure, who operate two composting facilities and one RNG facility in southwest B.C.

Portrait of Stefan Michalski

Abstract: PlanET Biogas Solutions has designed, constructed and successfully commissioning a new biogas upgrading plant at Lethbridge Biogas. The PlanET Stateron Pressure Swing Adsorption Plant has 1,800 Nm3/h nominal raw biogas processing capacity and is injecting high quality RNG into the ATCO distribution grid 24/7 since August 2021. This joint presentation expands on operation experiences as well as design and construction considerations for this Albertan First.

Biography: Stefan holds a Masters of Science/Engineering degree from the Technical University of Berlin in Germany. Since 1993 Stefan has worked on bioenergy projects and business development, accumulating almost 30 years of international experience in Europe, Asia and most recently North America. Stefan has lived and worked in Canada since 2004, and has spearheaded the decade long development of the 2.85MW Lethbridge Biogas facility. As Director Operations, Stefan has overall responsibility for the operation of the facility, which has just completed its 8th year of commercial operation. Stefan is also a Director on the Board of the Canadian Biogas Association.

Portrait of Farough Motasemi

Abstract: Data analytics for assessment and operation of biogas projects is critical. anessa and BioGest will discuss their experience in biogas project development, the importance of data analytics and its role in de-risking projects as the solution to increased efficiency and developing more successful biogas plants.

Biography: Farough holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Brunswick with the focus on modeling and simulation in renewable energies. Farough focuses mainly on introducing numerical models for energy recovery from different bioconversion processes, including the conversion of organic waste and production of biofuels. Farough is responsible for technology development at anessa biogas software.

Portrait of Wesley Muir

Abstract: As Canada embarks on historic investment in infrastructure to tackle climate change and transition to a circular economy, the use of public private partnerships (P3s) to develop biogas plants is becoming increasingly problematic. While the P3 model has been successful across a range of asset classes, its application to large scale municipal biogas plants has been attributed to increased project costs and financial risks, schedule delays, contractual disputes, overbudgeting and cancellations.

Biography: Wes is a Business Development Manager with Veolia North America, a global environmental services provider in the waste, water and energy sectors. For the past 20 year, Wes has held senior positions with leading private waste services companies throughout North America. Wes has extensive experience in the collection, transfer, recycling, disposal and marketing of waste services. Wes has been active in promoting the waste services industry with numerous industry associations and an advocate for the advancement of collaborative contracting for municipal environmental infrastructure.

Portrait of Amos Ncube

Abstract: Biogas offers environmental benefits in a future with restricted fossil-based fuels and materials. Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) was used to quantify and compare environmental impacts of an AD plant, incorporating biogas co-generation and upgrading. The LCA showed biogas co-generation into heat and electricity carries a lower environmental burden compared to upgrading into RNG. Other derived biobased products such as biofertilizer showed better environmental performance when compared to fossil-derived counterparts.

Biography: Amos is a transdisciplinary researcher of Industrial Ecology and Circular Economy. He is an Early-Stage Researcher (ESR) under the ReTraCE project funded by the EU's H2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie scholarships. Amos is currently enrolled as a doctoral student at the University of Naples “Parthenope” in Italy, where his research focuses on understanding environmental implications of a transition towards a circular economy. Amos’s work has been published in high-profile peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Cleaner Production, Science of the Total Environment, and in project deliverables for the European Commission.

Portrait of Edward Ng

Abstract: As Canada embarks on historic investment in infrastructure to tackle climate change and transition to a circular economy, the use of public private partnerships (P3s) to develop biogas plants is becoming increasingly problematic. While the P3 model has been successful across a range of asset classes, its application to large scale municipal biogas plants has been attributed to increased project costs and financial risks, schedule delays, contractual disputes, overbudgeting and cancellations.

Biography: As a Partner in the Infrastructure Advisory practice at Ernst & Young (EY), Edward focuses on providing transaction support and lead advisory services in the execution of infrastructure financing and public-private partnerships (PPP). Edward has over 17 years of related experience and has been involved in all aspects of transactions, including market soundings, business case and feasibility study development, process structuring, conducting commercial and financial evaluations, constructing/ analyzing public sector comparator and shadow bid models, risk assessment, and financial arrangement and structuring. Edward has been involved in over 40 infrastructure projects with a combined value in excess of $25.0 billion.

Portrait of Bora Plumptre

Abstract: Since 2016, Canada has greatly deepened its commitment to addressing climate change, with numerous new policies established to bolster the deployment of renewable and non-fossil energies - the alternative fuels needed to reach net-zero emissions. Following a review of existing federal/provincial policy supports for low-carbon gases, this presentation will propose policy options that may compensate for the diminished regulatory signal to develop biogas and RNG under Canada’s incoming clean fuel standard.

Biography: Bora is a senior analyst in the federal policy program of the Pembina Institute, a leading Canadian clean energy think tank. Bora conducts research to support low-carbon solutions at the national level, with a focus on policy to ensure a cleaner fuel supply in transportation and electricity. Previously, Bora worked on Parliament Hill and as a research fellow with the Smart Prosperity Institute. Bora holds a joint honours degree in philosophy and history from McGill University, and an M.Sc. in Environmental Sustainability from the University of Ottawa. An avid reader and long-distance runner, Bora is based in Toronto.

Portrait of Ramiel Shamwel

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to explore how managers and administrators in Canada describe the benefits of transitioning to anaerobic digestion. The teleological theory served as foundation for the research. Managers and administrators described transitioning experiences through the value of anaerobic digestion. Results included descriptions of the value of transitioning to anaerobic digestion, its influence on the circular economy, environmental sustainability, and beneficial experiences while transitioning to anaerobic digestion.

Biography: Ramiel lives in Chatsworth, California, where he was born and raised. Ramiel attended college at University of Colorado and graduated in Spring 2010. In Summer 2012, Ramiel received his Master’s in Public Administration from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Three months ago, Ramiel graduated from Grand Canyon University in Arizona with a Doctor of Business Administration. During his studies, Ramiel spent over two years working as Director of Communications in the non-profit sector. Ramiel plans to use his degree both to teach Business Administration and also work in the field to advance biogas.

Portrait of Matt Tomich

Abstract: The US RNG revolution is being led by programs that incentivize production and use of lowest carbon fuels in transportation. Today, no other fuel can match the ultra-low carbon intensity of RNG. This presentation will provide an overview of RNG production, RNG as a transportation fuel, and the major programs which support RNG production and are rapidly driving the transformation of RNG from low carbon to ultra low carbon fuel.

Biography: Matt is president of Energy Vision, a national US environmental NGO working to advance commercial and cost-effective options for a carbon-neutral economy through research, outreach, education and strategic advisory. Much of Matt’s has looked at the production and use of RNG for difficult to decarbonize heavy-duty vehicles. Matt’s research and writing have appeared in numerous publications, including GreenBiz, The Hill, TriplePundit and BioCycle, and he has presented on the intersection of technology, economics and policy in relation to waste management and low-carbon transportation at multiple venues in North America, Asia and Africa. Matt is a graduate of Haverford College.

Portrait of Tim Tripp

Abstract: Reliable separation of organic and foreign matter is crucially important for energy recovery and material recycling of biowaste. Successful separation at the beginning of the process = efficient subsequent steps. Tietjen’s DRM provides cost-efficient system design. In contrast to conventional process technologies, DRM allows for high-precision separation of organic substances from foreign substances at the beginning of material preparation, with never-before-seen purity levels of the organic/inorganic fractions.

Biography: Tim began his career with TVT Ltd, in Tillsonburg On., providing complete design, fabrication, installation and service for process equipment, bulk materials handling, specialized projects and systems. Tim is now the North American sales engineer for Tietjen Verfahrenstechnik, with responsibility for projects, customers and business development in North America. Some notable projects that Tim has worked on include feed, petfood and oat mill expansions in Ontario, a new biorefinery in Grand Forks N.D., and a new distillery in Brandt S.D. Tim played semi-pro hockey from 1987-1991, and enjoys curling, golf, walking the dog and spending time on the lake.

Portrait of Lauren Turner

Abstract: The benefits of biogas and renewable natural gas have long been understood by a relatively small audience, but as RNG establishes its identity as a decarbonization tool in a multitude of expanded applications, the industry needs to know how to respond to new questions, new criticisms, and most importantly, new opportunities.

Biography: As Vice President of Renewable Partnerships, Lauren is responsible for overseeing and developing partnerships with organization seeking to decarbonize their operations and products. Lauren has nearly a decade of experience in clean energy solutions, environmental credit compliance, and business partnership development. Prior to joining Archaea Energy, Lauren worked in energy compliance services at Weaver & Tidwell LLP, where she advised biofuel producers eligible for federal and state renewable fuel credits. Before that, Lauren held multiple roles at Air Liquide within the biogas business. Lauren holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.

Portrait of Chris Voell

Abstract: Denmark is a leader in co-digestion of waste and manure for RNG & fertilizer. Protection of natural resources and renewable energy generation are cornerstones in Denmark. This presentation will provide insight on how the Danish biogas industry applies innovation in digester design and operation, food waste preparation, and biogas cleaning, and how co-digestion allows biogas-to-RNG to thrive. RNG currently makes up more than 20% of the country's gas grid.

Biography: Chris has been a champion for biogas energy and waste management for more than 35 years, and currently works to bring Danish innovation to help grow the North American biogas market through the Biogas Go Global program. Previously, Chris headed the USEPA AgSTAR program and was Co-Chair of the Global Methane Initiative Biogas Subcommittee and US representative to the Climate & Clean Air Coalition Agricultural Committee. Chris worked for the Solid Waste Association of North America, SCS Engineers, Cornerstone Environmental, BioCNG, and Aria Energy. Chris previously served on the Board of the American Biogas Council.

Portrait of Brenden Williams

Abstract: Data analytics for assessment and operation of biogas projects is critical. anessa and BioGest will discuss their experience in biogas project development, the importance of data analytics and its role in de-risking projects as the solution to increased efficiency and developing more successful biogas plants.

Biography: Brenden is a graduate of the sustainability and technology program at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. One of the first schools to implement such a program, studies included all forms of renewable energy technologies including biogas. Brenden started in the solar industry, but quickly grew to find a bigger interest in the emerging biofuels industry in the US. Breden briefly worked for a biogas development firm before joining Biogest in 2019.

Portrait of Jay Zwierschke

Abstract: Matter is developing a dry anaerobic digester (AD) in BC’s agricultural heartland. This project, which will be constructed in Clayhurst (near Fort St. John), will process cattle manure, waste crops and various silage feedstock with a rotating crop methodology. The project has secured a unique integration strategy with biogas being supplied to a local, raw gas network and upgraded at the Boundary Lake facility with the RNG shipped to Station 2.

Biography: Jay is a cleantech entrepreneur and president of Matter Global Solutions Inc., a platform technology company focusing on anaerobic digestion and advanced conversion technologies, committed to renewable natural gas and hydrogen-based projects. Jay aspires to create transformative, new business opportunities related to technology, unique project development, and innovative partnerships. Jay’s experience covers various industries such as waste management, thermal-chemical conversion, and anaerobic digestion to maximize clean energy outputs. Matter has contracted with FortisBC to construct its first large-scale renewable natural gas in the British Columbia market. Additional projects are underway to promote a new class of anaerobic digestion systems.