Process Development

The Saskatchewan Research Council’s (SRC) Process Development Business Unit provides applied research, design, development, demonstration and scale up of value-added processing technologies for commercial application. This work helps clients in Saskatchewan and around the world achieve significant economic and positive environmental impacts.

Our services include niche areas such as partial upgrading, biomass to biofuel and bioproduct processing.

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key capabilities:

Process Design and Development

Our team of experienced chemical engineers can design a process to produce a desired product, perform an economic assessment of a process, model an existing process in a chemical simulator or develop process improvements through energy audits and pinch analysis. Typical projects include:

Technology Development 

  • Process optimization, pilot plant construction and operation activities (incorporating client knowledge) for both commercial and noncommercial technologies 
  • Preliminary process design

Economic Assessments 

  • Preliminary plant cost estimates: 
  • Capital expenditures 
  • Operating expenditures 
  • Internal rate of return/net present value

Process Modelling 

  • Mass and energy balances 
  • Process simulation in ChemCAD

Energy Optimization 

  • Energy audits or optimum energy sources, including conventional, non-conventional and renewables; can include battery storage and hybrid generation solutions in partnership with other SRC business units 
  • Pinch analysis 
  • Water pinch

Waste to Biofuels

Biomass and other organic wastes can be converted to power, heat and value-added products (e.g., fuels) through numerous processes, including pyrolysis, gasification, hydro-liquefaction and catalytic conversion. 

SRC’s Process Development team offers the following services for biofuels: 

Technology Search/Scan 

Technology Assessment and Validation – Desktop, Bench, Pilot or Field 

  • Assist in shortlisting available technologies 
  • Work with technology licensors to assess process performance with specified feedstocks, product specifications or other client requirements 
  • Estimate feedstock availability 
  • Characterize feedstock 
  • Model processes 
  • Estimate capital and operations


The Centre for the Demonstration of Emissions Reductions (CeDER) is a platform that provides real-world testing, demonstration and validation of emissions measurement, reduction, capture and conversion technologies. CeDER is a low-cost, stage-gated, fee-for-service platform and offers independent, industry recognized third-party validation aimed at accelerating the commercialization and field deployment of viable greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction technologies. While the focus is on methane, CeDER can test, verify and demonstrate: 

  • Methane (CH4)
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • Hydrogen sulfide (H2S)
  • Mono-nitrogen oxides (NOx)
  • Sulfur oxides (SOx)

SRC’s CeDER platform consists of a range of services and capabilities, including instrumented mobile facilities for independent third-party technology demonstration and performance validation, air quality monitoring and emissions testing.