Turning Garbage into Fuel
Construction has started on the world’s first industrial scale municipal waste-to-biofuels facility.
The Edmonton Waste-to-Biofuels Facility will be built, owned and operated by Enerkem Alberta Biofuels. It will convert 100,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste into 38 million litres of biofuels annually and help Alberta reduce its GHG emissions. (Waste-based biofuels can reduce GHG emissions by more than 60% when compared to gasoline.)
The City of Edmonton is currently diverting up to 60 per cent of residential waste from landfill through recycling and composting. The Waste-to-Biofuels Facility will enable the City to increase that diversion rate to 90 per cent.
The facility is expected to be operational in 2013.
The feedstock for producing biofuels is municipal solid waste that cannot be recycled or composted and has traditionally been sent to landfill. Using waste to produce cleaner burning fuels is a major leap forward in Edmonton's commitment to alternatives to landfills and an integrated energy vision.
Initially, the facility will produce methanol, followed by ethanol. The goal of producing methanol and subsequently ethanol has both environmental and economic benefits since it supports the increasing demand for biofuels.
The Waste-to-Biofuels Facility is part of a larger initiative totalling $131 million which includes a feedstock preparation facility and an Advanced Energy Research Facility.
Using waste as a resource for fuel will contribute to GHG reduction, reduce the need for food crops as feedstock for ethanol, and enable Alberta to lead the way in biofuel production.
This initiative could mean that in the future, Edmonton's garbage trucks may be refueling at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre with fuel made from the waste they delivered to the site.
For more information:
In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311