Indigenous cleantech Carbonix receives $3.1 million from federal government


Carbonix, a Canadian Indigenous cleantech company based in Fort William, Ont., has received a $3.1 million investment from the federal government for a project aimed to accelerate water and land restoration.

“Carbonix recognizes that Canada is a nation whose backbone of the economy… is founded and largely based on the resource extraction.”

Carbonix’s project will produce tailored activated carbons from sustainably-sourced raw materials (like petroleum coke and wood waste) and use them to capture contaminants from industrial waste streams and mine refuse. The goal of this project is to help return water, used during industrial extraction processes, back to the environment in a shorter period of time, thus benefiting land restoration efforts.

“The support … enables Carbonix to take the R&D efforts the company began in 2011 and transition them for commercial-scale application,” said Paul Pede, president and CEO of Carbonix. “Carbonix recognizes that Canada is a nation whose backbone of the economy and jobs is founded and largely based on the resource extraction industries of energy, mining and forestry. Carbonix supports these industries, and we wish them to flourish. Moreover, as an Indigenous company, we wish to support their efforts to return the lands and waters back to their natural state.”

The project will take place in partnership with the inorganic materials research laboratory at Trent University and SGS Lakefield, a technical service provider. The federal government investment is being made through Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) Clean Growth Program, a $155 million fund created to help emerging cleantech scale and prepare for commercialization.

“These commercial research opportunities with private and public sector partners are invaluable for students, who are seeing first-hand the potential of cross-collaboration to address some of Canada’s and the world’s environmental issues,” said Andrew Vreugdenhil, an associate professor and head of the inorganic materials research lab at Trent University where the collaboration will take place.

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The project previously received $120,000 from NRCan’s Indigenous Forestry Initiative and Indigenous Services Canada’s Strategic Partnerships Initiative. Founded in 2011, Carbonix has worked with Trent University’s department of chemistry since 2013. The company has created an eco-friendly process to manufacture customizable and lower cost activated carbon using sustainably sourced feedstocks.

“Through projects like this, the Government of Canada is finding solutions that will help reduce pollution, drive clean innovation and create good jobs,” said Maryam Monsef, minister of international development and minister for women and gender equality.

“Accelerating clean technology development is key to promoting sustainable economic growth as Canada moves toward a clean energy future, helping us meet our domestic and international commitments while maintaining our natural resource advantage for years to come,” she stated.

Image courtesy Carbonix via Twitter

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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