Enerkem makes biofuels and renewable chemicals from waste. With its proprietary technology, Enerkem converts non-recyclable municipal solid waste into methanol, ethanol and other widely used chemical intermediates. Headquartered in Canada, Enerkem owns a full-scale commercial facility in Alberta as well as a demonstration plant and a pilot facility in Quebec. The company is developing additional biorefineries in North America and globally, based on its modular manufacturing approach. Enerkem’s technology and facilities help diversify the energy mix and make everyday products greener while offering a sustainable alternative to landfilling and incineration.
- Business Type:
- Industry Type:
- Energy - Bioenergy
- Market Focus:
- Globally (various continents)
- Year Founded:
Clean Fuels and Green Chemicals From Waste
Enerkem produces clean fuels and green chemicals from waste with better economics and greater sustainability than other technologies relying on fossil sources.
Enerkem’s disruptive technology converts non-recyclable municipal solid waste (i.e. garbage) into clean fuels and renewable chemicals.
Enerkem Alberta Biofuels is the world’s first commercial biorefinery to use municipal solid waste to produce methanol and ethanol. This facility is the result of more than 10 years of efforts to scale up Enerkem’s technology from pilot and demonstration, to full commercial scale.
One of the most advanced green technology companies
We develop and deliver biorefineries in North America and globally, based on a modular and standardized manufacturing approach.
Enerkem is open to partnerships with industry leaders to implement facilities that utilize municipal solid waste to produce clean fuels and renewable chemicals. In addition to licensing its technology, the company provides fully fabricated modular equipment and handles assembly on site.
- Private company founded in 2000 by current senior management
- Majority-owned by institutional, clean technology and industrial investors
- Headquartered in Montreal, Canada
- 200 employees in Canada and the United States… and counting!
Clean Growth for Canada and the World
Enerkem’s made-in-Canada, waste-to-biofuels global solutions create high-quality green jobs while reducing oil dependence and waste volumes.
From its headquarters in Montreal, Enerkem’s disruptive proprietary technology uses non-recyclable municipal solid waste (i.e. garbage) instead of petroleum to produce the lowest-cost liquid transportation fuels and chemicals relative to alternative production methods.
Each Enerkem waste-to-biofuels and chemicals facility, such as the Enerkem Alberta Biofuels facility in Edmonton*, creates high quality green jobs and brings value to communities and waste-generating industries, while helping solve some of today’s most pressing environmental issues. Enerkem facilities help diversify the energy mix and make greener everyday products while offering a sustainable and economical alternative to landfilling, incineration and traditional fuels and chemicals.
Generating economic growth:
- Currently employs some 200 Canadian professionals and engineers in Alberta and Quebec
- Each facility creates 610 direct + indirect jobs and generates net new economic impact across Canada of $200 M during construction. While in operation, each facility creates 150 direct + indirect permanent jobs and increases local annual net economic spending by $65 M
- Enerkem diversifies Canadian export opportunities by growing its international exporting and licensing business via partnerships with industrial leaders and municipalities
- Enerkem stimulates the Canadian manufacturing sector with its made-in-Canada modular and pre-fabricated manufacturing
Providing tangible environmental benefits:
- Enerkem has a growth plan to create a CO2 equivalent reduction of approximately 880,000 tonnes by 2030 in Canada alone through eight facilities in four provinces
- Enerkem facilities help diversify the energy mix and make greener everyday products while offering a sustainable and economical alternative to landfilling, incineration and petroleum-based fuels and chemicals
Enerkem welcomes the Government of Canada’s pledge to drive the success of Canada’s global cleantech ecosystem through investment and forward-thinking programs. Access to growth capital is the most obstructive barrier to growth for Canadian cleantech firms doing business here at home and around the world, according to Celine Bak, senior fellow with the Center for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).
Exclusive Thermochemical Process
Enerkem makes transportation fuels and chemicals from garbage instead of petroleum.
Enerkem’s patented technology chemically recycles the carbon contained in non-recyclable waste (i.e. garbage). In less than 5 minutes, Enerkem’s process first converts this carbon into a pure synthesis gas (also called syngas), which is then turned into biofuels and chemicals, using commercially available catalysts.
“Multifeedstock / multiproduct” is what differentiates Enerkem’s technology platform.
Since 2000, Enerkem has tested and validated a number of different feedstocks – from solid waste coming from several municipalities to dozens of other types of residues. In Enerkem’s system, these feedstocks are converted into methanol, ethanol or other renewable chemicals. In turn, methanol is a chemical building block for the production of secondary chemicals, such as olefins, acrylic acid, n-Propanol, and n-Butanol, which can then be used to form thousands of everyday products.
Enerkem’s exclusive process is environmentally sound. It requires relatively low temperatures and pressures, which reduces energy requirements and costs. Enerkem’s proprietary technology was rigorously scaled up from pilot to demonstration to commercial stage during an unprecedented period of 10 years of disciplined efforts.
Enerkem’s 4-step thermochemical process:
- feedstock preparation
- cleaning and conditioning of syngas
- catalytic synthesis
Enerkem’s breakthrough technology is the ultimate result of a desire to create clean energy and value-added products from otherwise wasted materials. This technology was initially inspired by the research and development led by Dr. Esteban Chornet, Professor Emeritus at the Université de Sherbrooke (Québec, Canada). Professor Chornet and his son Vincent saw the opportunity to develop a revolutionary technology and bring it to the market.
Vincent Chornet, as President and CEO, has been the guiding force behind Enerkem’s development since 2000, obtaining C$ 400 million in private financing and government support, and growing the company to 200 employees. Enerkem recently started operating its very first full-scale commercial facility in Edmonton, Canada, and additional biorefineries are currently being developed in North America and around the world.
As Chief Technology Officer, Esteban Chornet has been providing vision, mentoring and engineering expertise in catalytic reactions and process integration, while leading the team that developed the company’s proprietary technology.