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Enerkem receives CAD$5.5 million grant from pan-Canadian network

Funding was awarded to a group led by Enerkem’s research and development team based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, to bring to market its solution to produce low-carbon fuel for the heavy-duty transportation sector. Enerkem’s feedstock-flexible gasification technology has been proven in its Enerkem Alberta Biofuels facility in Edmonton. (Photo: Enerkem)

Enerkem has received a grant totaling more than CAD$5.5 million (USD$4.35 million) as part of the Clean Resource Innovation Network’s Low Emissions Fuels and Products Technology Competition for its integration of advanced carbon recycling technologies to produce sustainable drop-in fuels in Canada.

The main objective of the Enerkem project is to validate a solution that can directly provide low-carbon fuel to the heavy-duty transportation sector while simplifying both the manufacturing process and supply-chain requirements.

The project combines technologies to produce a low-carbon diesel fuel blend from feedstock such as forestry and agricultural residue, and potentially urban waste as well, using the Enerkem gasification technology and Infra Synthetic Fuels Inc.’s proprietary catalyst system, while avoiding energy- and cost-intensive refining and upgrading processes.

“Our project makes a critical link between the agricultural and forestry sectors in that we take waste biomass from these sectors and produce a fuel product that is compatible with the oil and gas supply chain,” said Michel Chornet, Enerkem’s executive vice president of engineering, innovation and operations. “In doing this, we are able to leverage the strength of two of Canada’s strongest industry sectors to drastically diversify and improve the fuel supply of the transportation sector.”

This project was led by Enerkem’s research and development team based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in collaboration with Suncor Energy and Infra Synthetic Fuels. By combining Enerkem’s feedstock-flexible gasification technology—proven at its Enerkem Alberta Biofuels facility in Edmonton—with Infra Synthetic Fuels’ advanced Fischer-Tropsch technology, the team was able to use sustainable feedstocks in a cost-effective process that avoids the cost and energy intensity typically required to upgrade Fischer-Tropsch products to fuel grade.

This project will demonstrate the integration of Enerkem’s and Infra Synthetic Fuels’ technologies at an appropriate scale and will provide critical design information for future commercial deployments—paving the way for a 1,500 barrel-per-day (63,000-gallon-per-day) waste-derived, low-carbon renewable diesel production facility in Canada.

Synthetic fuel from waste- or biomass-derived syngas could provide a more diversified fuel offering for Canada, driving significant near-term greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions and economic diversification. This project will demonstrate the most viable pathways to the most sustainable synthetic fuel.

Anticipated benefits include:

  • Commercial deployment of the integrated technologies in Canada by 2030

  • Achieving overall 3.3 million metric tons of GHG reduction—through the operation of three plants by 2033

  • Biofuel production facilities could achieve up to 91 percent GHG emission reduction

  • Creation of more than 700 direct and indirect jobs

Headquartered in Montréal, Québec, Canada, Enerkem operates a full-scale commercial demonstration facility in Edmonton as well as an innovation center in Québec. A full-scale commercial facility in Varennes, Quebec, Canada is currently under construction.


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