The Utilization of Canadian Peat As An Alternative Energy Source

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 71, No. 797, 1978

T. E. Tibbetts, Energy Research Laboratories, CANMET, Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, Ottawa, J. A. Fraser, Montreal Engineering Company, Limited, Toronto, Ontario

In several European countries, including Russia, it has become economically attractive to utilize peat as a fuel for power generation, the production of metallurgical coke, the production of fuel briquettes for the domestic market and low-Btu gas. Although the economic base and availability of energy supplies in Europe is much different than it is in Canada, regional economics here may warrant the development of peat as an alternative source of energy.Canadian peatlands cover several thousands of square miles and have historically been considered as waste land. Now, with the increasing costs of other energy sources, it is apparent that fuel peat should be re-evaluated as a potential energy resource. A nation-wide inventory of peat deposits has been prepared and reserves evaluated for some of these areas where field surveys have been carried out.The paper describes alternative mining methods developed to meet some of the various conditions encountered on virgin peatland. These mining techniques are generally based on current peat technology exercised in other parts of the world and would be applicable in some of the peat regions of Canada.
Keywords: Peat, Energy, Fuel resources, Vacuum mining, Hydraulic mining, Combustion, Surface deposits.