Enerkem Inc. officially inaugurated its first full-scale municipal waste-to-biofuels and chemicals facility in Edmonton, Alberta. This facility, operated by Enerkem Alberta Biofuels, is among the world’s first commercial facilities to be built for the production of renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels (methanol and ethanol).
Enerkem’s platform is a 4-step thermochemical process that consists of: feedstock preparation; gasification; cleaning and conditioning of syngas; and catalytic synthesis.
This biorefinery is a collaboration between Enerkem, the City of Edmonton and Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions. The facility will have a production capacity of up to 38 million liters (10 million gallons US) per year; will help the City of Edmonton increase its residential waste diversion rate to 90%; and is expected to generate net economic spending in the local area of nearly C$65 million annually.
The start-up of the biorefinery follows a commissioning plan which is nearing completion. Biomethanol production will begin progressively during the start-up. A module converting the biomethanol into advanced ethanol will be added by the end of 2015.