Que. research eyes veg oil in transformers

The Quebec government will put up $430,000 for research on the use of both vegetable and animal oils as insulators in electrical transformers.

The provincial agriculture ministry (MAPAQ) said Friday it will put up $180,000 over two years for related work at Oleotek, a research and technology transfer firm at Thetford Mines.

Of that, $120,000 will go toward research on use of fats and oils from vegetables and animals to develop a substitute for mineral oil in electrical transformers, for use in northern climates.

Another $60,000 from MAPAQ’s $180,000 is to go toward preparing such oils for use as water-emulsifiable and biodegradable lubricants.

The provincial economic development ministry (MDEIE) will invest another $250,000 for Oleotek to put toward developing its skills in industrial chemistry.

Specifically, the province said, the organization is looking to broaden its knowledge base in tribology — the science of interacting surfaces in motion — as it relates to biolubricants and functional fluids.

That level of specialty doesn’t exist in Quebec and is rare in Eastern Canada generally, the province said.

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