A biofuels production facility to be built in Pontotoc, MS, is expected to produce 20 million gallons per year of “next-generation” ethanol.

Plans include using a mix of feedstock comprised of wood residues from regional forest and agricultural operations, as well as urban biomass such as municipal solid waste, construction and demolition debris, and treated wood, announced Enerkem, Inc., a biofuels and green chemicals technology company based in Montreal, Canada. The company is also working with Three Rivers Solid Waste Management Authority of Mississippi (TRSWMA) for the supply of about 189,000 tons of unsorted municipal solid waste (MSW) per year for use as feedstock at the Pontotoc facility.

Unlike first-generation biofuels, or agrofuels, which are produced from sugar-rich crops such as corn and sugar cane, Enerkem’s second-generation biofuels are produced from biomass and waste materials, according to its officials.

The plant is to be built, owned and operated by Enerkem Mississippi Biofuels, a wholly owned subsidiary of Enerkem. The investment includes an upstream municipal solid waste recycling and pre-treatment center, representing $250 million in total investment. The Enerkem process will recycle and convert approximately 60% of the MSW that crosses the gate at the Three Rivers landfill. The majority of the MSW will be converted into biofuels; the remainder will be distributed to recycling processors.

“We are pleased to collaborate with the northern Mississippi community on building an unprecedented advanced biofuels project. The project, our first in the U.S., will leverage the expertise we’ve gained both at our large-scale pilot facility and at our first commercial plant,” said Vincent Chornet, Enerkem president and CEO.

“This project is unique in that it uses a mix of municipal solid waste – which has negative cost – and wood residues as feedstock, allowing Enerkem to achieve substantial commercial scale and favorable economics.”

Enerkem has designed a technology platform that is feedstock-flexible and can produce an array of valuable advanced transportation fuels, green chemicals and renewable electricity. Log on to Enerkem for more information