What is said will be the world’s first industrial scale biofuels project using municipal sold waste as a feedstock is being built in Edmonton, Canada, it was announced this week. The plant, owned by waste-to-biofuels company Enerkem, will have an annual production capacity of 36 million litres/10 million gallons.
The plant will use Enerkem’s proprietary clean technology – which converts waste, such as unrecyclable household garbage, demolition debris and residues from used utility poles, into clean transportation fuels and advanced chemicals – to produce enough biofuels to fuel over 400,000 cars per year running on a five per cent ethanol blend. This is according to Enerkem, which added that it believes this facility will reduce Alberta’s carbon dioxide (CO2) footprint by six million tonnes over the next 25 years.
Enerkem has signed up the city of Edmonton to a 25-year agreement to convert 100,000 tonnes of the City’s municipal solid waste into biofuels annually. The plant, if development stays on schedule, should be operational by the end of 2011, creating more than 180 direct and indirect jobs during the operations, construction and engineering phases.
“Edmonton’s environmental leadership has us continually looking to set the bar higher,” said Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel in a statement. “As a result of this facility, we will become the first major city in North America to see 90 per cent of residential waste diverted from landfill by 2013. This is a major achievement, and a big step towards a greener Edmonton! Thanks to all our partners whose innovation and commitment to sustainability are helping to reduce our carbon footprint.”