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Bioindustrial Innovation Canada approves investment in Benefuel

Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) has announced that it has approved an investment as part of Benefuel’s current financing round. This investment will allow US-headed biodiesel process technology developer Benefuel Inc. to complete the engineering needed as a final step before the construction of its first, commercial demonstration plant in Sarnia, Ontario.

The Duonix Beatrice plant in Nebraska (NE), US is the first biodiesel plant using Benefuel’s ENSEL conversion technology and is operated by Duonix LLC, a JV between Flint Hills Resources and Benefuel  (photo courtesy Flint Hills Resources).

Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC), a not-for-profit organization based in Sarnia, Ontario, with a goal to support Ontario and Canada becoming globally-recognized leaders in the field of sustainable technologies has announced that has approved an investment, the amount of which has not been disclosed, as part of Benefuel’s current financing round.

In 2016, BIC established the Centre for Commercialization of Sustainable Chemistry Innovation (COMM SCI) initiative program, which acts as a hub for the commercialization of sustainable chemistry and bio-based innovation. Bio-based start-ups and sustainable chemistry companies can participate in this program to remove barriers to commercialization and investments.

Benefuel is a renewable energy company that utilizes their patented ENSEL catalyst technology to produce a low carbon intensity biodiesel from a variety of food and agriculture waste streams, with high yields. The biodiesel produced meets and exceeds the ASTM 6751 standard, the highest market designation.

According to a statement, BIC has been working with Benefuel for a number of years, providing advice and services in anticipation of Benefuel’s decision to build its first, commercial-scale ENSEL plant in Sarnia. Based on BIC’s assessment of Benefuel’s technology and business plan, BIC has approved an investment as part of Benefuel’s current financing round.

This investment will allow Benefuel to complete the engineering needed as a final step before the construction of its first, commercial demonstration plant in Sarnia.

Ontario is committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its transportation fuel pool. We recognize the need for low carbon transportation fuels and Benefuel provides an important step forward to meet these goals, said Sandy Marshall, Executive Director of BIC.

BIC believes the global trend towards low carbon transportation fuels, favourably positions Benefuel today.  The ENSEL process combines the two main reactions for biodiesel production, esterification and trans-esterification, into a single step. This allows Benefuel to use a broad range of low cost, low carbon feedstocks resulting, in a negative carbon intensity fuel.

Benefuel is excited to develop its first commercial refinery in Sarnia. After almost two years of operation of a large-scale demonstration plant in Nebraska, we are incorporating those operational learnings into an enhanced, modular refinery design that will serve as the foundation for our growth here in Sarnia and abroad. The modular design will allow us to develop projects faster, with lower costs and higher quality. Sarnia is an excellent choice of location due to its considerable infrastructure of services, contractors, module fabricators and overall talent pool of skilled resources for operations, said Rob Tripp, Chief Executive Officer of Benefuel.

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