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.