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New Research Facility Recovers Value from Waste, Lowers Emissions

Advanced Energy Research Facility

June 23, 2011

Plug-and-play pilot plant and lab to convert waste to biofuels and value-added chemicals

Edmonton is now home to one of the world’s most sophisticated waste-to-biofuels research facilities, thanks to a partnership between Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions (AI-EES), the City of Edmonton, and Enerkem.

The $12.5 million Advanced Energy Research Facility features a well-instrumented pilot plant and sophisticated laboratory equipment. The facility will help position Alberta as a leader in developing technologies that convert non-hazardous waste from the oil and gas, agricultural, forestry, and municipal sectors into green transportation fuels and chemicals, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Funding for the City-owned facility comes from AI-EES, while Enerkem is providing the anchor technology for converting waste into biofuels and chemicals.

"Alberta may be known for our oil and gas, but projects like this one prove we are leaders in green energy development too," says the Honourable Greg Weadick, Minister of Advanced Education and Technology. "Countries worldwide want greener energy and there's no other place with our combination of research talent, one-of-a-kind infrastructure, and background in energy development to bring this kind of technology to the world."

“Edmonton is a pioneer in waste management and this research centre helps us enter the next phase of our strategy, which is to recover value from waste that can’t be recycled or composted.” says Mayor Stephen Mandel. “This is a major component of the City’s plan to manage our waste in an efficient and environmentally responsible manner.”

“Enerkem is proud to take part in this innovative project, by providing its leading technology and expertise in the conversion of waste into biochemicals and clean fuels,” says Vincent Chornet, President and Chief Executive Officer of Enerkem. “This state-of-the-art facility will attract high calibre researchers from around the world, and will lead to the production of more sustainable products.”

Dr. Esteban Chornet, world-recognized scientist in the development of fuels and chemicals from waste, and Enerkem’s Chief Technology Officer, will be leading some of the company’s advanced research at the facility.

The Advanced Energy Research Facility is one part of a $132.5 million waste-to-biofuels project that also includes a municipal waste processing facility built by the City of Edmonton, and a commercial waste-to-biofuels facility currently being built by Enerkem, under Enerkem Alberta Biofuels. The Government of Alberta supported this initiative through AI-EES ($29 million) and Alberta Energy ($3.35 million). The City of Edmonton contributed $43.5 million to the total project.

For more information on this project, visit www.edmontonbiofuels.ca.