Enerkem’s breakthrough technology is the ultimate result of a desire to create clean energy and value-added products from otherwise wasted materials. This technology was initially inspired by the research and development led by Dr. Esteban Chornet, Professor Emeritus at the Université de Sherbrooke (Québec, Canada). Professor Chornet and his son Vincent saw the opportunity to develop a revolutionary technology and bring it to the market.

Vincent Chornet, as President and CEO, has been the guiding force behind Enerkem’s development since 2000, obtaining C$504 million in private financing and government support, and growing the company to 200 employees. Enerkem recently started operating its very first full-scale commercial facility in Edmonton, Canada, and additional biorefineries are currently being developed in North America and around the world.

As Chief Technology Officer, Esteban Chornet has been providing vision, mentoring and engineering expertise in catalytic reactions and process integration, while leading the team that developed the company’s proprietary technology. 

Below is a list of the company’s major milestones since its inception:

September 2017

Enerkem begins commercial production of cellulosic ethanol from garbage at its state-of-the-art Edmonton biofuels facility

April 2017

Enerkem’s second generation ethanol obtains the lowest carbon intensity ever from the British Columbia government

August 2016

Enerkem’s facility in Edmonton becomes the first ISCC certified plant in the world to convert municipal solid waste into biomethanol

September 2015

Enerkem raises C$152.6 million in financing and initiates methanol production at its full-scale commercial facility in Edmonton, Alberta

November 2014

Enerkem partners with global chemicals leader AkzoNobel to jointly explore development of waste-to-chemicals facilities in Europe

October 2014

Enerkem announced agreements with industrial partners in China to develop project partnerships to jointly build municipal solid waste-to-biofuels and chemicals facilities

Enerkem is named in the 2014 Global Cleantech 100

June 2014

Enerkem launches world’s first, game-changing full-scale municipal waste-to-biofuels and chemicals facility in Edmonton, Canada

October 2013

Enerkem sweeps two coveted industry rankings, cements its status as cleantech favorite

September 2013

Enerkem Chief Technology Officer receives 2013 Don Klass Award

June 2013

C$50 million raised in latest financing round. Investissement Québec joins as investor.

May 2013

“Drop-in” renewable fuels R&D project announced

Key investors raise their participation in Enerkem Alberta Biofuels by C$37 million

January 2013

Enerkem Alberta Biofuels facility welcomes first employees

October 2012

Enerkem is named in the 2012 Global Cleantech 100

June 2012

Ethanol production from waste begins at Enerkem demonstration facility in Westbury, Québec

February 2012

GreenField Ethanol and Enerkem announce Québec’s first waste-to-biofuels production facility in Varennes, Québec

December 2011

Enerkem raises C$15 million in project equity financing for its commercial facility in Edmonton

November 2011

Enerkem voted 7th in the 50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy

September 2011

Methanex Corporation and Enerkem announce offtake agreement for biomethanol to be produced in Edmonton

July 2011

New financing round reaches C$88 million

Vincent Chornet, Enerkem President and CEO, named a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year award by Ernst & Young

June 2011

Enerkem technology to convert waste into biofuels and green chemicals at Advanced Energy Research Facility located in Edmonton, Alberta

Methanol production start at Westbury

May 2011

Valero joins Waste Management as a key Enerkem investor in a C$75.5 million financing round

February 2011

Fast Company names Enerkem one of The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies

December 2010

Biofuels Digest names Enerkem one of The Top 50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy

October 2010

Enerkem named a 2010 Global Cleantech 100 Company by The Guardian

August 2010

Site preparation begins for construction of Enerkem Alberta Biofuels full-scale waste-to-biofuels facility in Edmonton, Alberta

February 2010

Enerkem closes financing round of C$53.8 million with Waste Management as a strategic investor

May 2009

Permit granted to Enerkem to build municipal waste-to-biofuels facility in Edmonton, Alberta

March 2009

Enerkem announces plans to enter U.S. market

January 2009

Enerkem Westbury enters start-up phase for syngas production

September 2008

Enerkem and GreenField Ethanol sign an agreement to jointly build commercial scale waste-to-biofuels facility

June 2008

City of Edmonton and Enerkem announce plan to build world’s first commercial scale municipal waste-to-biofuels facility


Enerkem begins construction of Westbury demonstration facility


Enerkem starts operating its pilot facility in Sherbrooke, Québec


Vincent Chornet hires a first employee in the new company he recently cofounded in Québec, Canada with his father, Professor Esteban Chornet