Enerkem Commercial-Scale Biomass and Waste to Biofuels and Biochemicals Plant Entering Start-up Phase
Enerkem Inc., the developer of a thermochemical (gasification and catalytic synthesis) process to produce synthetic fuels from biomass and waste (earlier post), said that its pilot commercial-scale plant located in Westbury, Quebec, is entering the start-up phase with the production of its clean conditioned synthesis gas.
The plant ultimately will produce up to 5 million liters (1.3 million gallons) of cellulosic ethanol from creosoted electricity poles and other waste materials. The Enerkem thermochemical process uses one tonne of waste to produce 360 liters (95 gallons) of ethanol.
Construction on the plant began in October 2007 and the facility was mechanically complete in December 2008. The conditioned syngas island has been finalized and is in an advanced commissioning stage in preparation for its upcoming start-up. The premium syngas island serves as the chemical production platform, from which the methanol and ethanol production modules will be added progressively over the next months.
The conditioned synthesis gas island is the core of our technology platform as it is where we produce a clean tailored syngas that serves as a chemical source for the production of advanced biofuels and biochemicals.—Vincent Chornet, President and CEO of Enerkem
Enerkem is a private company financed by leading US venture capital firms Rho Ventures and Braemar Energy Ventures, the Canadian investment fund BDR Capital and the Company’s management.
In June 2008, the city of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, signed a 25-year agreement with GreenField Ethanol, Canada’s largest ethanol producer, and Enerkem for a facility to produce biofuels from municipal solid waste (MSW).