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July Chementator Briefs

By Edited by Gerald Ondrey |

  Waste-to-biofuels Valero Energy Corp. (San Antonio, Tex.; www.valero.com) is one of five companies that have invested a total of $60 million in new financing in Enerkem Inc. (Montreal, Que.; www.enerkem.com), which has developed a process to produce liquid fuels and chemicals from municipal solid waste. Valero, the largest independent petroleum refiner in the U.S., has made a number of investments in biofuels technology and operates ten corn ethanol plants, which make it the largest ethanol producer among U.S. refiners. In Enerkem’s process, shredded garbage is gasified and converted sequentially to methanol, acetate and ethanol. The company is building a commercial-scale plant in Edmonton, Alta. Scheduled for startup in 2012, it will convert 100,000 m.t./yr of garbage into 10 million gal/yr of methanol. A similar plant is being built in Pontotoc, Miss., with startup set for 2013. (For more details on Enerkem’s process, see CE, October 2010, p. 14; www.chemengonline.com/chementator/6024.html). Beet sugars yields PX In an extension of its reforming process for producing liquid fuels from plant sugars, Virent Energy Systems, Inc. (Madison, Wisc.; www.Virent.com) has produced para -xylene (PX) from beet sugar. Virent…
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