MC: Biofuel Innovator May Choose So. Coast

Cutting-Edge Canadian MSW-To-Fuel Processor Enerkem is Looking at the MA South Coast for its First U.S. Facility.

10 December, Rochester MA – Montreal-based Enerkem confirmed it is in discussions with local officials and with waste hauler ABC Disposal about producing ethanol from material generated by ABC’s specialized trash and recycling facility, which is scheduled to open next Spring on Route 28 in Rochester.

Enerkem has just one full-scale production plant in Edmonton, Alberta, which opened in 2014. Enerkem Alberta Biofuels converts more than 100,000 tons of waste annually, yielding as much as 10 million gallons of ethanol.

Enerkem’s four-step thermochemical process to produce ethanol/methanol from MSW to yield ethanol or methanol {enerkem.com}.

Enerkem’s Sr. Director of Marketing, Pierre Boisseau said he expects the European and U.S. plants to have two production lines instead of one, doubling the potential output to 20 million gallons. If the prospective Massachusetts plant produced the same output to be shipped by rail, it would add more than 650 loaded cars per year – a game-changing boost to the low-density Southeast Lines cluster. A U.S. plant would employ 50 to 75 people.

Enerkem is currently developing new plants in the Netherlands [1]  and Spain [2] . “There’s a keen interest from Enerkem to come over to Massachusetts,” said Boisseau. He would like to have a U.S. plant “tomorrow,” but no location has been selected. He said the company is talking with communities in multiple states in hopes of launching a project in the coming months. So, the SouthCoast location is not a done deal.

Feedstock is a critical element in Enerkem’s location decision. After Zero Waste Solutions’ facility burned down in 2016, leading to ABC’s trip through bankruptcy court, ABC Disposal CEO Michael Camara expects to reopen the 103,000-square-foot trash and recycling facility in April. In addition to sorting and baling recyclables, the facility would grind appropriate waste to Enerkem’s specifications. The “recipe” includes non-recyclable plastics, clothing, pressure-treated wood, and other hard-to-dispose-of materials.

[1] Enerkem and Suez are teaming up to build the Ecoplanta Molecular Recycling Solutions MSW-to-methanol plant near Tarragona [to open] by 20`22. { Sebastian Shehadi,  FDI intelligence 22.Aug.2018}

[2] Arlene KaridisWaste360 17. Jul.2018