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Second-generation biofuels


Enerkem’s primary focus is cellulosic ethanol among its wide range of possible products. 


Global biofuels production reached an all-time high of 105 billion litres in 2010, which includes ethanol. The emergence of clean transportation fuels is driven by the need to reduce dependence on fossil fuel-derived energy and GHG emissions. The production of advanced fuels, like ethanol, from waste and residual biomass, represents a viable solution with an immediate impact on pressing environmental challenges.

Ethanol is the most common biofuel today. It can be blended with gasoline (a 10 percent blend is common), distributed using today’s gasoline distribution network and used in all vehicles produced since 1982. 

  • In the United States, the federal government has established a Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) that mandates the production of specific  cellulosic biofuel volumes to be blended in the national transportation fuel supply (see side graph). Several states have renewable fuel requirements as well.  
  • In Canada, many provinces have put in place similar mandates or objectives, namely British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. Starting September 2010, the Canadian federal government required gasoline fuel producers and importers to have an average annual renewable fuel content equal to at least 5 percent of the volume of gasoline that they produce or import.  
  • The WorldWatch Institute reported that global ethanol production reached 86 billion litres (22.7 B gallons) in 2010. This represents a global market size of US$64.7 billion*.

*spot price as of September 2011