Sustane Technologies wins $225K in Innovacorp startup competition

A Nova Scotia company that turns municipal waste into clean products such as biofuel has won $225,000 through Innovacorp as part of a startup competition.

Chester-based company turns municipal waste into biomass fuel pellets

Sustane president Peter Vinall (left), with investor Robert Richardson, at the Innovacorp Awards. (Submitted)

A Nova Scotia company that turns municipal waste into clean products such as biofuel has won $225,000 through Innovacorp as part of a startup competition.

Chester-based Sustane Technologies Inc. beat out 187 submissions from entrepreneurs to win the provincial Crown corporation's top prize of a $100,000 seed investment.

Sustane's technology takes the waste matter left after recycling and turns it into biomass fuel pellets through a proprietary process.

"We cool it and clean it, eliminating glass, plastic, and other contaminates," Sustane president Peter Vinall told CBC Radio's Mainstreet. "The final product burns very cleanly." 

The Australian-born Vinall has 35 years of experience in the pulp and paper industry as an engineer and senior executive, including four years working for the AV Group in New Brunswick.

His partnership with Spanish inventor Javier De La Fuente, who he calls a "Leonardo Da Vinci type," and a grant from ACOA, helped bring the technology to Nova Scotia. 

Vinall says Sustane's product will help to eliminate landfills.

The company hopes to break ground on its $15-million factory in the spring and have it up and running in 2017.

In all, Innovacorp handed out $950,000 in cash, seed investment and business-building services to the competition's various first- and second-place winners.

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency provided $100,000 for the competition.

With files from Canadian Press