First Commercial-Scale Waste-to-Biofuel Plant Operational Within a Month

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Enerkem’s plant outside Montreal, Quebec is now mechanically complete and ready to enter the start-up phase of biofuel production.  At capacity, 1.3 million gallons of biofuels will be generated annually.  The company has not disclosed the price of the ethanol but says it is cheaper than the corn-based ethanol currently on the market.

Waste wood from used electricity poles will be the negative-cost feedstock used.  One metric ton is required to produce 95 gallons of ethanol.  Compared to other feedstock, wood does not have a high energy density.

Enerkem has developed a proprietary gasification process that allows biofuels to be produced from non-homogeneous materials.  It is important however to ensure that contaminants such as arsenic are not present, which is a challenge when using such feedstock.

“If you have a piece of paper in one end of the reactor, it will crack as well as a piece of plastic at the other end because the reactor dissipates heat in a uniform manner,” CEO Vincent Chornet said. “It allows the syngas to be produced from feedstock, despite that lack of homogeneity.”

There are sufficient quantities of electric poles as feedstock for the facility, but there are plans to expand the plant.  If this is done, the second production line would use a different feedstock.  Demand will dictate when the plant is expanded.  In the meantime, this plant is making history.

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Latest CleanTechnica TV Video

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
Thank you!

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.