Research project

The role of forest bioenergy in decarbonizing Quebec industries and mitigating climate change

Description

Several Master's and PhD projects available
Quebec is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 37.5% below 1990 levels and its consumption of petroleum products by 40% by 2030, and to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. This reduction could be achieved in particular through the emergence of bioenergy, which can be used in solid, liquid or gaseous form to produce heat and electricity, or fuel for transport.

Using forest biomass to produce bioenergy as a substitute for fossil fuels can reduce GHG emissions. However, the presumed carbon neutrality of forest bioenergy is not always respected. The GHG reduction benefits of forest bioenergy have been the subject of much debate. The GHG reduction potential of a forest bioenergy project over time (compared with a fossil fuel-based reference) is highly variable. However, few primary data exist for Quebec, reflecting the biomass sources available on the territory and the technologies most likely to carve out a place on the market.

The aim of the research project is to improve the calculation of the carbon balance of forest bioenergy in Quebec through the generation of primary data for forest biomass sources from Quebec territory and conversion systems available on a commercial scale in Quebec.

The project will aim to:
- Characterize forest biomass sources in terms of their chemical and physical properties related to their bioenergy conversion potential;
- Test and document the conversion potential of forest biomass into bioenergy products as a function of biomass properties, and quantify the effect of conversion parameters on material, energy and carbon balance and end-product characteristics;
- Model the carbon balance and GHG reduction potential of bioenergy products, and analyze the impact of biomass source characteristics and conversion parameters on the carbon balance.

The project will focus on the following biomass sources: wood from natural disturbances and post-consumer wood panels, and three bioenergy products: biochar, bio-oil and syngas.

This project is being carried out in partnership with Innofibre, le SEREX, le Réseau québécois sur l'énergie intelligente and Escouade Energie.

Research Field

- Renewable energy
- Bioenergy
- Forest carbon
- Climate change
- Conversion processes

Research Supervisor

Evelyne Thiffault

Research Environment

Renewable Materials Research Centre - Department of wood and forest sciences

E. Thiffault's team (Team Carbone) carries out research activities related to forestry under a changing climate at the Renewable Materials Research Centre, whose mission is to develop responsible use of forest resources, taking into account environmental and economic constraints. The team is part of Université Laval's Department of Wood and Forest Sciences, a training and research environment dedicated to improving our knowledge of the forest environment.

Most of the projects of the E. Thiffault team are in partnership with stakeholders and communities committed to the fight against climate change. Come and make a difference with us!
To discover Team Carbone, visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064839792020

Web Site


Financial Aid Available by Program of Study

Doctorate in Forestry Science

Program description

Financial Aid Available*

Financial Aid Related to Research Project

$26000 per year for 4 years.

All expenses related to field and laboratory work, specialized training, equipment, etc. are covered. Funds are also available for participation in conferences and symposia to present research results.

Program-Specific Financial Aid

Graduate Studies Awards

Milestone Amount
Doctoral exam and submission of research proposal by the end of the 4th semester
$3,135
Favorable report from the supervising committee by the end of the 7th semester
$2,090
Initial dissertation submission by the end of the 9th semester
$4,180
Publication of an article in a scientific journal by the end of the 6th semester
$950
Total $10,355

Université Laval: Student Financial Aid

Funding source Amount
Leadership and Comittment Scholarship (Canadians & permanent residents)
$30,000
Citizens of the World Scholarship (International students) $30,000
Mobility Grant for Out-of-Province Internships or Research Visits (in French)
$1,000 to $2,000
Graduate Scholarships from Granting Agencies   
$20,000 to $70,000$
Online Directory of Graduate Scholarships (in French)
$500 to $50,000

Supplemental Tuition Fee Exemption Scholarship Program: Entitles international students to pay Canadian student tuition fees, for overall savings of around $40,000. If you are benefiting of this scholarship program, the doctoral admission scholarship will go toward paying your supplemental tuition fees. You will not receive the $2,000 scholarship amount directly; rather it will be applied over your first two semesters to the supplemental portion of your tuition fees.

* Amounts shown represent maximum financial aid available. Certain conditions apply. Subject to change without prior notice. For further information, contact sponsoring organizations directly.

Master's Degree in Forestry Science with thesis

Program description

Financial Aid Available*

Financial Aid Related to Research Project

$20000 per year for 2 years.

All expenses related to field and laboratory work, specialized training, equipment, etc. are covered. Funds are also available for participation in conferences and symposia to present research results.

Program-Specific Financial Aid

Graduate Studies Awards

Milestone Amount
Initial thesis submission OR fast-tracking to a doctorate by the end of the 5th semester
$1,000
Total $1,000

Université Laval: Student Financial Aid

Sources de financement Montant
Leadership and Comittment Scholarship (Canadians & permanent residents) $10,000
Citizens of the World Scholarship (International students) $20,000
Mobility Grant for Out-of-Province Internships or Research Visits (in French)
$1,000 to $2,000
Graduate Scholarships from Granting Agencies
$17,500 to $40,000
Online Directory of Graduate Scholarships (in French)
$500 to $50,000

* Amounts shown represent maximum financial aid available. Certain conditions apply. Subject to change without prior notice. For further information, contact sponsoring organizations directly.

Desired Profile

- Engineering
- Biology
- Chemistry
- Wood Engineering
- Geography
- Natural and landscaped environment
- Forest Management and Environment

Requirements and Conditions

- Be able to travel a few times to different regions of Quebec

Required Documentation

- Cover letter
- Curriculum vitæ
- Student transcript

Find Out More

Evelyne Thiffault
Professeure agrégée
Département des sciences du bois et de la forêt
evelyne.thiffault@sbf.ulaval.ca