Ensyn planning commercial-scale production of biofuels in Ontario

Pulp & Paper Canada
April 07, 2014
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Ensyn is undertaking a $4-million expansion to upgrade its existing production facility in Renfrew to a dedicated biofuels facility with enhanced production capacity of 13 million litres/year of a liquid biofuel that can be used as a heating fuel and as a feedstock for the production of gasoline and diesel. CRIBE, a provincial research corporation, will invest up to $1.5 million to the expansion project.

By enhancing its existing facility in Renfrew, Ensyn will have a fast-to-market option for delivery of its petroleum-replacement liquid biofuel produced from forest residues to heating oil customers in Quebec and Northeastern United States.

Ensyn’s biofuels business is based on the conversion of wood and other non-food, cellulosic biomass to advanced cellulosic biofuels. Ensyn’s principal product is RFO™, a liquid biofuel that is a heating fuel and is also a feedstock for refineries for the production of gasoline and diesel.

The capacity increase is being carried out in order to meet immediate demand for RFO from clients in Canada and the US. On March 7, 2014, Ensyn announced that it had signed a five-year contract with Memorial Hospital of North Conway, New Hampshire, for the supply of RFO to be used as a heating fuel, replacing petroleum-based fuels.

Also, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently approved Ensyn's Renfrew plant as a registered facility under the US Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS2) program. Ensyn expects that sales of RFO from Renfrew to US customers will qualify for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) under the RFS2 program, enhancing contract economics. Renfrew’s qualification under RFS2 has accelerated customer demand from US clients.

Ensyn’s Renfrew facility has been in operation since 2006, applying Ensyn’s RTP® thermal conversion process to convert cellulosic, non-food biomass to liquids. Commercial operations to date have focused on the production of specialty chemicals and heating fuels for certain applications. In addition, Ensyn has used the Renfrew facility to demonstrate and commercialize its broader biofuels business.

“This project represents a critical step in our biofuels development process,” said David Boulard, president of Ensyn Technologies. “Although Ensyn has had commercial operations for many years, and while the Renfrew facility has served us well as a commercial merchant facility for contract production and business development, Renfrew will now serve as our first commercial facility dedicated to biofuel production and will allow us to accelerate the development of market demand. We are pleased that CRIBE has elected to help us on this important project.”

CRIBE, The Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy is an independent, not-for-profit research corporation, with $25 million in funding provided by the government of Ontario.

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