Ensyn: Biofuels Digest’s 2014 5-Minute Guide

March 31, 2014 |

Ensyn is a producer of advanced cellulosic biofuels.  Ensyn uses its patented and proprietary RTP fast thermal technology to convert wood residues and other non-food, cellulosic biomass to liquid biofuels. Ensyn has had continuous commercial operations for more than 25 years.  Its technology has produced over 37 million gallons of renewable fuels and chemicals in over 160,000 hours of successful plant operation.

The majority of Ensyn’s historical production has been dedicated to heating fuels and chemicals.  Ensyn is now applying the same technology and building out production capacity in numerous projects in North America and internationally for the production of a broader application of advanced cellulosic biofuels. Ensyn’s biofuels are petroleum replacements that are used as a direct replacement for heating oil and also serve as a feedstock for refineries in an application known as Refinery Coprocessing.

Refinery Coprocessing leads to the production of undifferentiated, “drop-in” gasoline and diesel products by processing Ensyn’s advanced biofuel alongside petroleum products in existing refineries.  By leveraging on existing refinery and downstream infrastructure, Refinery Coprocessing offers a cost-effective and fast-to-market solution for the production of drop-in advanced fuels from cellulosic biomass.


50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy: 2012/13, #44

Biofuels Digest Awards:

Biofuels Digest’s 2012 Best Technology Extension Award: Envergent—Kapolei, HI


Drop-in transportation fuels, heating oil replacement, specialty chemicals

Owner-operator and technology licensor.  Strategic partnerships with UOP Honeywell, Chevron Technology Ventures, Fibria

The Situation

Ensyn has established several strategic relationships with market leading companies in order to expand its business.  These include companies related to technology, feedstock, offtake, project development and finance.

Ensyn has a multi-faceted strategic alliance with UOP LLC, a Honeywell Company.  Under this alliance, UOP carries out the engineering and supply of Ensyn’s RTP biomass conversion equipment to biorefinery projects, with performance guarantees, though Envergent Technologies, a UOP/Ensyn joint venture.  In addition, UOP supports Ensyn in marketing and developing Refinery Coprocessing to refiners – including providing RFO delivery equipment to refiners.

Ensyn has established numerous partnerships with leading fiber owners in North America and internationally. The role of fiber owners incudes supplying biomass to projects for conversion to liquid fuels and participating in the equity of the projects.   Ensyn has a strategic alliance with Fibria Celulose S.A., Brazil’s leading pulp producer, and has a strategic relationship with Felda Palm Industries Sdn Bhd in Malaysia, the world’s leading producer of palm oil.

The relationship between Ensyn and Fibria is particularly noteworthy. Ensyn and Fibria have established a joint venture to produce advanced biofuels in Brazil and Fibria invested $20 million in Ensyn equity.  Fibria is represented on Ensyn’s Board of Directors. Fibria has announced that the first project under this joint venture is to take place at their 2.3 million ton/year pulp mill in Aracruz in the State of Espirito Santo.

Ensyn and Chevron Technology Ventures (CTV) have established a strategic relationship regarding the production of renewable transportation fuels from Ensyn’s RTP liquids. This initiative includes an agreement under which CTV is applying Chevron’s proprietary upgrading technologies and know-how at Chevron’s refineries in order to convert Ensyn’s RTP liquids produced from a variety of non-food cellulosic biomass feedstocks into blendstocks for transportation fuels, such as gasoline and diesel.

Past milestones:

Ensyn has designed and commissioned 16 facilities (from pilot to commercial scale) over the last 25 years for use the production of chemicals and heating fuels and for testing. Currently six commercial facilities are in operation using Ensyn’s technology, plus another two long term testing units.

Ensyn’s initial, commercial-scale production facility dedicated fully to biofuel production is located in Renfrew, Ontario.  Ensyn is currently expanding and enhancing the capacity of this facility to three million gallons/year – the expansion will be complete by Q3 2014.  Ensyn sells product from this facility into the US and Quebec. On March 7th, 2014 Ensyn announced it had signed a five-year contract with Memorial Hospital of North Conway, New Hampshire to supply RFO™, Ensyn’s renewable heating oil, replacing Memorial’s petroleum-based heating fuel.

Ensyn’s Renfrew facility has been qualified by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the US Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS2) program.  Sales of RFO from Renfrew to US clients are expected to be eligible for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs).

Ensyn’s cost of production is among the most competitive in the industry.  For a prototypical twenty million gallon per year plant, Ensyn expects the capital cost to be in the $5-6 per gallon range and production costs to be in the $1.25 per gallon range, depending on plant location and other factors.

Future Milestones

In addition to the expansion of the Renfrew plant to 3 million gallons of production annually, Ensyn has a robust development pipeline in North America and in Brazil.


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