The research center will focus on the development and demonstration of novel catalytic conversion processes to produce advanced biofuels and green chemicals from non-hazardous industrial waste (generated by the oil and gas, agricultural, forestry and other industrial sectors), as well as from municipal waste. It will be adjacent to the planned commercial waste-to-biofuels production facility, which is ready for construction and has already been announced by Enerkem.
"Enerkem is a proud partner in this novel project, which focuses on innovative technologies and research for tomorrow's carbon constrained reality," said Vincent Chornet, President and Chief Executive Officer of Enerkem.
"This research center will become an important component in furthering our company's dedication to innovation, allowing us to attract some of the country's brightest minds."
The research center will include laboratory equipment and a well-instrumented pilot plant. It will welcome top researchers from Alberta and throughout Canada, particularly those specialized in thermo-catalysis, to take part in developing a new line of alcohol and hydrocarbon fuels suitable for tomorrow's reality. Construction of the research center is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2010. Enerkem will develop the center in collaboration with the City of Edmonton. AERI is contributing $9 million to the project.
The research center is part of a comprehensive waste-to-biofuels initiative between the City of Edmonton, Enerkem, and the government of Alberta, through AERI. In addition to the research center, this initiative includes the 36-million liters per year commercial waste-to-biofuels production facility and a municipal waste processing facility being built by the City of Edmonton.
Enerkem announced in May that the commercial waste-to-biofuels production facility has successfully completed the necessary environmental regulatory process and had been granted a permit to commence construction.