Enerkem facility begins commercial ethanol production

Enerkem facility begins commercial ethanol production

The Edmonton, Alberta, facility is the first to produce cellulosic ethanol from waste on a commercial scale.

September 15, 2017

Enerkem Inc., a biofuels and renewable chemicals producer headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, announced it has started the commercial production of cellulosic ethanol. Enerkem's facility in Edmonton, Alberta, is the first commercial-scale plant in the world to produce cellulosic ethanol made from nonrecyclable, noncompostable mixed municipal solid waste (MSW), the company says.

The company has been producing and selling biomethanol since 2016, prior to expanding production to include cellulosic ethanol, with the installation of its methanol-to-ethanol conversion unit earlier in 2017.

"The commercial production of cellulosic ethanol at our facility in Edmonton marks a landmark moment for our company as well as our customers in the waste management and petrochemical sectors and confirms our leadership in the advanced biofuels market," says Vincent Chornet, president and CEO of Enerkem.

This growing global market is expected to reach 124 billion liters per year by 2030 according to the International Renewable Energy Agency, Abu Dhabi. "We will now progressively increase production in Edmonton, while preparing to build the next Enerkem facilities locally and around the world," says Chornet.

Advanced biofuels play a vital role in the transition toward sustainable mobility by producing transportation fuels that replace a portion of gasoline, the company says. Enerkem's technology is designed to provide a clean transportation fuel and disrupt the traditional waste landfilling and incineration models.