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Enerkem receives EPA approval to sell cellulosic ethanol under RFS

Canada-headed waste-to-biofuels and chemicals producer, Enerkem Inc., has announced that its Edmonton, Alberta waste-to-biofuel facility has received registration approval from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to sell its ethanol under the US Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). It is the first-ever EPA-approved municipal solid waste (MSW) to cellulosic ethanol production plant and allows Enerkem to sell into the US biofuels market.

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A new dawn westwards for Enerkem? British Columbia has approved its second generation ethanol (photo courtesy Enerkem).
Enerkem has received EPA approval for ethanol from its Edmonton waste-to-biofuels facility (photo courtesy Enerkem). A new dawn westwards for Enerkem? British Columbia has approved its second generation ethanol (photo courtesy Enerkem).

According to a statement, Enerkem’s state-of-the-art advanced biofuels facility has successfully completed all the necessary steps required by the EPA and is the first ever municipal waste-to-cellulosic ethanol plant to receive approval to sell in the United States (US). Under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, 16 billion (US) gallons (≈ 60.57 billion litres) of cellulosic biofuels are to be blended in the conventional transportation fuel pool by 2022.

With this EPA approval, we are now able to sell one of the lowest-carbon transportation fuels into the world’s largest biofuels market. This provides further validation of Enerkem’s leading position in the global race to decarbonizing the transportation fuel sector, which is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, said Vincent Chornet, President and Chief Executive Officer of Enerkem.

The EPA’s rigorous registration process seeks to ensure that the stringent regulatory requirements of the US RFS are met. Enerkem is now registered for D3 Renewable identification numbers (RINs) credits. These RIN credits are purchased by US refiners to comply with the US RFS program. The EPA has established that cellulosic biofuels reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 60 percent when compared to gasoline.

Earlier this year, Enerkem expanded its Edmonton biofuel facility to produce some 13 million gallons (≈ 49.21 million litres) of cellulosic ethanol annually following the commissioning of its methanol-to-ethanol conversion unit. This pioneering facility has been financed by private sources and received funding support from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), Alberta Innovates and Alberta Energy.

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