- Montreal-based clean-tech company Enerkem Inc. announced this week that it has reached a "pivotal operational milestone" with the launch of commercial production of biomethanol from municipal waste at its facility in Edmonton, Canada.
- Although the facility was opened in the summer of 2014, Enerkem had to go through commissioning and other procedures before it could operate. The company raised $152.6 million for expansion and is now at full scale to produce methanol from garbage.
- The next step for Enerkem is to construct a unit that will allow the company to convert methanol to ethanol, a biofuel additive for gasoline. The unit is expected to be completed over the next year, which would allow ethanol production to begin in late 2016, according to Enerkem spokeswoman Marie-Hélène Labrie.
Waste-to-energy facilities have been consistently popping up across North America this week. From New York to California, companies have announced plans to build and operate anaerobic digestion facilities. Even Mexico is receiving upgrades to a waste-to-energy facility since Temarry Recycling invested $100,000 in improving Recicladora Temarry, based in Tecate, Mexico.
"We are about to fundamentally transform the waste industry over the coming years and allow energy and chemical groups access to a new and competitive source of renewable carbon," Enerkem President and CEO Vincent Chornet said to The Globe and Mail.
The company says that their biofuel plant is the first of its kind in the world.