Enerkem, a waste-to-biofuels and chemicals technology company, will jointly form an advanced energy research center with the City of Edmonton and the Alberta Energy Research Institute (AERI).
The research center will focus on the development and demonstration of novel catalytic conversion processes to produce advanced biofuels and green chemicals from non-hazardous industrial waste (generated by the oil and gas, agricultural, forestry and other industrial sectors), as well as from municipal waste. It will be adjacent to the planned commercial waste-to-biofuels production facility, which is ready for construction and has already been announced by Enerkem. (Earlier post.)
The research center will include laboratory equipment and a well-instrumented pilot plant. It will welcome researchers from Alberta and throughout Canada, particularly those specialized in thermo-catalysis, to take part in developing a new line of alcohol and hydrocarbon fuels. Construction of the research center is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2010. Enerkem will develop the center in collaboration with the City of Edmonton. AERI is contributing $9 million to the project.
The research center is part of a comprehensive waste-to-biofuels initiative between the City of Edmonton, Enerkem, and the government of Alberta, through AERI. In addition to the research center, this initiative includes the 36-million liters (9.5 million gallons US) per year commercial waste-to-biofuels production facility and a municipal waste processing facility being built by the City of Edmonton. Enerkem announced in May 2009 that the commercial waste-to-biofuels production facility has successfully completed the necessary environmental regulatory process and had been granted a permit to commence construction.
Enerkem has developed a gasification, sequential gas conditioning and catalysis technology platform capable of using a mix of feedstock such as sorted municipal solid waste, forest biomass and agricultural residues.