First Waste to Biofuel Plant Breaks Ground in Canada
Enerkem Begins Construction of World's First Waste to Biofuel Plant
On Tuesday, the Canadian company Enerkem began construction on the world's first industrial scale waste to biofuel garbage processing plant in Edmonton, Alberta. The plant is expected to be completed in 2011, and by 2013, it will be able to divert 90% of the city's residential waste away from landfills. Enerkem has a twenty-five year agreement with the city of Edmonton for the disposal of solid waste in the city.
At the waste to biofuel plant, incoming waste will first be sorted, and the materials that can be recycled or composted will be removed. The remaining waste will then go into a gasifier, which will use heat and pressure to convert the trash into a gas that is composed mainly of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. This gas will then be converted into ethanol, a biofuel. Enerkem estimates that the plant will be able to produce 10 million gallons of ethanol per year.
According to an Enerkem representative, the waste to biofuel plant is expected to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with waste disposal by 80%, since the waste at the plant will not be burned and released into the atmosphere, but will instead be converted into a gas, and then into a biofuel. Enerkem already has plans to build a number of other waste to biofuel facilities throughout the United States and Canada.