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lunes, 18 de septiembre de 2017

Enerkem begins production of cellulosic ethanol from MSW at its Edmonton biorefinery

Enerkem has started the commercial production of cellulosic ethanol at its facility in Edmonton (see press release 15/09/2017). It is the first commercial-scale plant in the world to produce cellulosic ethanol from non-recyclable, non-compostable mixed municipal solid waste (MSW).

 Biorefinery datasheet:
Edmonton (Alberta, Canada)
Single-line methanol-ethanol production commercial facility
Process technology
4-step thermochemical process:
- Feedstock preparation
- Gasification
- Cleaning and conditioning of syngas
- Catalytic synthesis
Post-sorted MSW (after recycling and composting)
Methanol and ethanol
Production capacity
38 million litres per year
Official opening: June 4, 2014.
It has been producing and selling biomethanol since 2016.
A new methanol-to-ethanol conversion unit has been installed this year and the production of ethanol started this month.

Figure 1. Enerkem's state-of-the-art Edmonton biofuels facility (extracted from the press release)

Enerkem's technology offers a smart alternative to traditional waste management models as well as provides a clean transportation fuel. Last April, Enerkem received the lowest carbon intensity value ever issued by the British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines for its ethanol product under the Renewable and Low Carbon Fuel Requirements Regulation (see press release 19/04/2017). The carbon intensity is the measure of GHG emissions associated with producing and consuming a transportation fuel, expressed in grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per megajoule of energy (gCO2e/MJ). The confirmed carbon intensity of Enerkem's waste-based ethanol is set at -55 gCO2e/MJ. As a comparison, gasoline has an intensity of +88 gCO2e/MJ. The approval under the British Columbia Renewable and Low Carbon Fuel Requirements Regulation opened up the door for Enerkem to sell its advanced ethanol in the province, in addition to the local Alberta market where the facility in operation is located.

The commercial production of cellulosic ethanol at the Edmonton biorefinery marks a landmark moment for the company. Now, Enerkem will progressively increase production in the facility while paving the way of the next plants locally and around the world (see more information about one of its projects: Air Liquide, AkzoNobel, AVR, Enerkem and Van Gansewinkel to build waste-to-chemicals plant in Rotterdam).

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