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Sustainable Aviation Fuels from Agro and Forestry Biomass and from Municipal Solid Waste through a Hub and Spoke Approach

Enerkem has been selected as the winner of the The Sky’s the Limit Challenge!

Strategic Area

Technology and Innovation




CRB Innovations


Impact Canada



Impact Canada Contribution

$ 2,000,000

Project Total

$ 2,700,000


Westbury, QC

Find out more

Enerkem Inc.
Impact Canada Initiative
The Sky’s the Limit Challenge
Video:  Sky’s the Limit

Lead Proponent

Enerkem Inc.

Project Outcomes

As part of the Impact Canada The Sky’s the Limit Challenge, Enerkem along with their partner CRB, worked across the value chain to produce their Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) from forestry biomass and non-recyclable municipal solid waste via two parallel processes: deconstruction and fractionation, and gasification.

CRB deconstructed and fractioned the biomass into recoverable intermediaries. Enerkem and CRB conducted the research using these intermediaries, leading to the production of sustainable aviation fuel. Some of the research was carried out in collaboration with the CanmetENERGY research centre in Ottawa.

By using waste and forestry biomass, Enerkem created a circular economy that significantly reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  The resulting biogenic fuel will contribute to a 93% reduction in GHGs from air transport per unit of fossil fuel replaced by SAF.

As the winner of the $5 M Sky’s the Limit prize Enerkem will continue the commercialization of their advanced biochemical process and is currently working with NOVA Chemicals on this recycling technology, as well, in partnership with Shell, Enerkem is working on another project to produce aviation biofuels from sorted urban waste in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, using a process that is slightly different from the forest biomass method. The process to certify aviation fuel produced from forest biomass is already underway in Canadian, U.S. and European jurisdictions.

“Forest biomass is often referred to as Canada's green advantage. It is low cost and has a long history of use for a variety of purposes. It is a well-established industry that should be further explored to maximize its GHG reduction potential in aviation and other areas.” – The team at Enerkem
Enerkem’s biofuels plant in Alberta

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