Enerkem, a world leader in the production of biofuels from waste materials based in Canada, achieved a major breakthrough in converting carbon from forest biomass into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) using its proprietary thermochemical process. This important milestone was achieved at Enerkem’s Innovation Centre in Westbury, Quebec. It will be followed by the demonstration phase, which will lead to commercialization in the near future. This research is part of The Sky’s the Limit Challenge organized by Natural Resources Canada and for which Enerkem was selected as a finalist.
Canadian Enerkem, with a group of strategic partners, that include major investor Shell, along with Suncor and Proman and Hydro-Québec supplying green hydrogen and oxygen, and with the support of the Québec and Canadian governments, will build a biofuel and renewable chemicals plant in Varennes, in the Greater Montréal area.
Varennes Carbon Recycling (VCR) will produce biofuels and renewable chemicals made from non-recyclable residual materials as well as wood waste. The plant will leverage green hydrogen and oxygen produced through electrolysis, transforming Quebec’s excess hydroelectricity capacity into value-added biofuels and renewable chemicals. VCR will be a major creator of quality local direct and indirect jobs during its construction and operation.
Two Canadian companies will collaborate on innovative technology to close the loop on recycling and drive a plastics circular economy. Nova Chemicals, a leading producer of chemicals and plastic resins, and Enerkem, a world-leading waste to renewable fuels and chemicals producer, have entered into a joint development agreement to explore turning non-recyclable and non-compostable municipal waste into ethylene, a basic building block of plastics.
Large research infrastructures, a chemical and paper industry supporting a sector that is considered strategic, clusters that are able to build extended value chains, universities at the level of excellence and a federal government and provinces with a vision and an effective action plan. These are shortly all the strengths of the bioeconomy in Canada, as I saw them last week.
BioAmber Inc. filed a voluntary petition for relief under chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code and that its two Canadian subsidiaries, BioAmber Sarnia Inc. and BioAmber Canada Inc., filed a Notice of Intention to make a proposal under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada), with a view to strengthening the company’s financial health and solidifying its long-term business prospects.
Comet Biorefining, the Canadian company focused on the production of high-purity cellulosic dextrose, completed a round of equity financing led by new investor PM Equity Partner. Current investor Sofinnova Partners and new investor Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) also participated in the financing, whose terms were not disclosed.
Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) has launched the creation of the $27 million Centre for Commercialization of Sustainable Chemistry Innovation (COMM SCI) through a $12 Million non-repayable contribution from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario’s (FedDev Ontario) Investing in Regional Diversification (IRD) initiative, a $3 Million grant from the Province of Ontario and a minimum $12 Million in matching contributions from BIC and their partners.
“The government is working on a national bioeconomy strategy, which started with our new federal government attending the COPS meeting in Paris. Discussions and consultations are now taking place with the provinces and the Canadian public with the intent to have a federal strategy in draft form later this year.” To say it – in this long exclusive interview with Il Bioeconomista – is Murray McLaughlin, executive director of Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, who was recognized in the top 100 global leaders in the Advanced Bioeconomy at Biofuels Digest Conference in Washington, 2016. With him we talk about bioeconomy in Canada, climate change, biomass, Green public procurement, carbon tax and other policies. Murray McLaughlin has held various positions in the private, government and non-profit sectors such as director of Business Development for the Canadian Light Source, president of Ontario Agri-Food Technologies, deputy minister of Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food, and president of Ag-West Biotech Inc. He co-chairs the Industrial Bioproducts Value Chain Roundtable which is a partnership between Industry and AAFC for the bioeconomy. He is a graduate of Nova Scotia Agricultural College, McGill (B. Sc. Agr.) and Cornell (MSC and PhD), and has an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Dalhousie University.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
Comet Biorefining, a leading provider of sustainable and cost-competitive cellulosic dextrose technology for applications in renewable biochemicals and biofuels, has announced the location of its commercial-scale biomass-derived sugar facility in the TransAlta Energy Park in Sarnia, Ontario. The 60 million pounds per year plant will come online in 2018, producing dextrose sugar from locally-sourced corn stover and wheat straw. Corn stover consists of residues left in the field after harvest including stalks, leaves, husks and cobs.