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Commercial ethanol production start at Enerkem's MSW to biofuels facility

Canada-headed Enerkem Inc., a leading biofuel- and renewable chemicals producer, has announced that it has started the commercial production of cellulosic ethanol at its facility in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The plant is the first commercial-scale plant in the world to produce cellulosic ethanol made from non-recyclable, non-compostable mixed municipal solid waste (MSW).

A new dawn westwards for Enerkem? British Columbia has approved its second generation ethanol (photo courtesy Enerkem).

Enerkem announced September 15 that it has commenced commercial advanced ethanol production at its Edmonton waste-to-biofuels facility  (photo courtesy Enerkem).

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 this year.

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, said Vincent Chornet, President and CEO of Enerkem.

Advanced biofuels play a vital role in the transition towards sustainable mobility by producing transportation fuels that replace a portion of gasoline. This growing global market is expected to reach 124 billion liters per year by 2030 according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

According to the company, its technology not only provides a clean transportation fuel, it also disrupts the traditional waste landfilling and incineration models by offering a smart alternative to communities wanting to recover waste while sustainably fueling vehicles.

We will now progressively increase production in Edmonton, while preparing to build the next Enerkem facilities locally and around the world, said Chornet.

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