A new cellulosic demonstration facility has opened in Danville, Virginia. Virdia, a company focused on developing cellulosic sugars, located the facility on the campus for the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR). The facility will prove out Virdia’s CASE process in pilot scale and the resulting cellulosic sugars and lignin will be designed for use in commercial applications.
Philippe Lavielle, Virdia CEO said, “Siting our technology center and our demonstration facility in Virginia is the next key step towards commercial production for us. Virdia’s products are cost-competitive, and are setting new standards for industrial uses of cellulosic sugars and lignin.”
Lavielle also said that the company looks forward to demonstrating the technology on a larger scale, and when they are ready, plan on locating the larger facility near sustainable sources of biomass. The CASE process converts biomass to fermentable sugars and lignin. The resulting sugars can be used to produce renewable chemicals, materials, nutritional additives for the feed industry and renewable fuels. The company is currently working with Virent who is using the sugars to produce drop-in jet fuels.
The company held a ribbon cutting ceremony on April 25th. “Virdia is making huge strides in the emerging bioeconomy, and I am pleased the company has decided to site its new technology center in Virginia,” said Bob McDonnell, the Governor of Virginia. “The development of sustainable and clean sources of energy is a necessary component of our all the above energy strategy, and Virginia is proud to welcome Virdia to the state in pursuance of cleaner energy, scientific innovation and economic stimulus.”