Enerkem vs LS9: Who's the Best?

August 27, 2011 |

Background: This is a Sweet Sixteen (third round), International Regional match-up between #2 seed LS9 and #6 seed Enerkem, in the 2011 Transformative Technologies tourney, from Biofuels Digest.

Voting: Open to all Biofuels Digest subscribers. Voting links are in the Biofuels Digest daily newsletter. To subscribe (free), visit here.

The winner gets: Most votes advances to the Elite Eight (round of 8), and a shot at the Biofuels Final Four.

The loser: Goes home.

Laurels: LS9 is the #4 ranked company in the 2010-11 50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy poll. SG Biofuels is currently ranked #37.

The match-up: It’s sugar vs waste, in a battle of synthetic biology vs thermonchemical technologies. LS9 took 64 percent of the votes in its first round battle with Lignol, and defeated SG Biofuels 59-41. Enerkem took 51 percent of the votes in its first round battle with Syngenta, and handled Abengoa 54-46 in round two.

Enerkem is pioneering a new line of chemicals and fuels made from garbage instead of oil or other fossil fuels. Enerkem’s cost-effective conversion technology transforms waste – such as unrecyclable household garbage, demolition debris and used utility poles – into chemical-grade synthesis gas (syngas), which is used to create advanced ethanol, acetates and other useful clean chemicals. The company currently operates two facilities in Quebec and, in 2010, began construction of a municipal waste-to-biofuels plant in Edmonton, Alberta. In 2011, the company expects to break ground on a similar facility in Pontotoc, Mississippi for which it is receiving financial support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Energy (DOE).

LS9’s technology? Microbial bioprocesses for the conversion of renewable carbohydrates to a diversity of drop-in fuel and chemical products. All of the chemical steps occur inside LS9’s engineered microbial catalysts, and the products are naturally secreted into the growth medium where they form an immiscible organic phase that is easily recoverable. The one step process is simple, efficient, and cost effective, enabling low CapEx multi-use facilities.

Deep dive data on LS9

LS9’s complete Hot 50 / Transformative Technologies profile is here

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