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:
- March: Enerkem succeeded in producing a new high-performance biofuel that could improve the octane rating of fuels sold on the market and reduce their carbon footprint at the Enerkem Innovation Centre in Westbury, Quebec. Enerkem makes the top 3 of the 50 hottest companies in the advanced bioeconomy, the company’s highest-ever ranking. The company also won at the 2018 Bio-Based World News Awards in the “Best use of alternative feedstocks” category.
- February: A consortium of companies comprising Air Liquide, AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals, Enerkem and the Port of Rotterdam has signed a project development agreement covering initial investments in an advanced waste-to-chemistry facility in Rotterdam. Enerkem also completed a C$280 million investment round–its largest to date. In addition to new investors BlackRock and Sinobioway, existing investors also participated in this financing.
- January: Enerkem signed an agreement with Sinobioway Group worth over C$125M in the form of equity investment in Enerkem Inc. that will lead the construction of over 100 Enerkem state-of-the-art facilities in China by 2035. Enerkem is named in the 2018 Global Cleantech 100 list for the fourth time.
- November: Enerkem’s Edmonton waste-to-biofuel facility receives registration approval from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to sell its ethanol under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard
- September: Enerkem begins commercial production of cellulosic ethanol from garbage at its state-of-the-art Edmonton biofuels facility
- April: Enerkem’s second generation ethanol obtains the lowest carbon intensity ever from the British Columbia government
- August: Enerkem’s facility in Edmonton becomes the first ISCC certified plant in the world to convert municipal solid waste into biomethanol
- September: Enerkem raises C$152.6 million in financing and initiates methanol production at its full-scale commercial facility in Edmonton, Alberta
- November: Enerkem partners with global chemicals leader AkzoNobel to jointly explore the development of waste-to-chemicals facilities in Europe
- October: Enerkem is named in the 2014 Global Cleantech 100
- June: Enerkem launches world’s first, game-changing full-scale municipal waste-to-biofuels and chemicals facility in Edmonton, Canada
- June: C$50 million raised in latest financing round. Investissement Québec joins as an investor.
- May: Key investors raise their participation in Enerkem Alberta Biofuels by C$37 million
- October: Enerkem is named in the 2012 Global Cleantech 100
- June: Ethanol production from waste begins at Enerkem demonstration facility in Westbury, Québec
- December: Enerkem raises C$15 million in project equity financing for its commercial facility in Edmonton
- November: Enerkem voted 7th in the 50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy
- July: New financing round reaches C$88 million
- June: Methanol production start at Westbury
- May: Valero joins Waste Management as a key Enerkem investor in a C$75.5 million financing round
- February: Fast Company names Enerkem one of The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies
- December: Biofuels Digest names Enerkem one of The Top 50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy
- October: Enerkem named a 2010 Global Cleantech 100 Company by The Guardian
- August: Site preparation begins with the construction of the Enerkem Alberta Biofuels full-scale waste-to-biofuels facility in Edmonton, Alberta
- February: Enerkem closes financing round of C$53.8 million with Waste Management as a strategic investor
- May: Permit granted to Enerkem to build a municipal waste-to-biofuels facility in Edmonton, Alberta
- March: Enerkem announces plans to enter U.S. market
- January: Enerkem Westbury enters start-up phase for syngas production
- Enerkem begins construction of the Westbury demonstration facility
- Enerkem starts operating its pilot facility in Sherbrooke, Québec
- Esteban and Vincent Chornet cofound Enerkem Inc.