Enerkem Inc., a waste-to-biofuels and renewable chemicals producer, has received approval from the United States Environmental Protection Agency to sell cellulosic ethanol produced at its Edmonton, AB, Canada facility under the U.S. Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS).
Enerkem’s biofuels facility has successfully completed all the necessary steps required by the EPA and is the first municipal waste-to-cellulosic ethanol plant to receive approval to sell in the United States. Under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, 16 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuels are to be blended in the conventional transportation fuel pool by 2022.
“With this EPA approval, we are now able to sell one of the lowest-carbon transportation fuels into the world’s largest biofuels market,” Enerkem President and CEO Vincent Chornet said in a statement. “This provides further validation of Enerkem’s leading position in the global race to decarbonizing the transportation fuel sector, which is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.”
The EPA’s rigorous registration process seeks to ensure that the stringent regulatory requirements of the U.S. RFS are met. Enerkem is now registered for D3 Renewable identification numbers (RINs) credits. These RIN credits are purchased by U.S. refiners to comply with the U.S. RFS program. The EPA has established that cellulosic biofuels reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 60 percent when compared to gasoline.
Earlier this year, Enerkem expanded its Edmonton biofuel facility to produce some 13 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol annually following the commissioning of its methanol-to-ethanol conversion unit. This pioneering facility has been financed by private sources and received funding support from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), Alberta Innovates and Alberta Energy.