24 April 2014
The 2014 winner of the SCI Canada Purvis Memorial Award is:
Robert Graham, winner of the 2014 Purvis Memorial Award, is the founder, Chairman and CEO of Ensyn Corporation (Ensyn), a privately-held producer of renewable fuels and chemicals from cellulosic, non-food biomass (woody materials). Ensyn's biofuels are based on the application of a patented technology to convert wood and woody residues to a liquid petroleum-replacement that is a heating oil or a feedstock for refineries for the production of gasoline and diesel.
Graham conceived and developed Ensyn’s core technology, Rapid Thermal Processing™, or RTP™, while earning a PhD at the University of Western Ontario in the early 1980s. The essence of this early work was to demonstrate that very fast thermal conversion of carbon-based feedstocks, with inert heat carriers (that is, heating very quickly with sand), could produce higher yields of higher value products, with low production costs.
Graham has led Ensyn since its initial incorporation in 1984 and has successfully applied his technology in two different industries – food chemicals and petroleum upgrading. Ensyn is now in the process of building an advanced cellulosic biofuels buisness in North America and internationally. As part of this mission, Graham has established a number of important strategic relationships, including with UOP, a Honeywell company. Chevron Technoloogy Ventures, Fibria Celulose from Brazil, the world's largest market pulp producer, and Felda Palm Industries, the world's largest palm oil producer.
Ensyn has a strong financial record, having returned to its investors more than twice the amount it has raised in equity funding. Enysn has equally strong intellectual property position and major global potential.
Among his personal pursuits, Graham has funded, and actively participated in, multiple community-based development projects through his private foundation.