U.S. Agriculture Secretary visits Renmatix; Announces $7M in Biofuels Research Funding

Renmatix, a manufacturer of cellulosic sugars for biobased chemical and fuel markets, welcomed Secretary Tom Vilsack, leader of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), for the commissioning of the company’s BioFlex Conversion Unit.

The Bio Flex Conversion Unit is a multiple-feedstock processing facility at the company’s King of Prussia headquarters. Vilsack also announced $7 million in funding for biofuels research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Eastern Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor, PA. Select Greater Philadelphia, along with a consortium of state and local partners, helped Renmatix choose Greater Philadelphia as its premier business location back in 2011.

Vilsack toured Renmatix’s world-class technical center and joined Renmatix CEO, Mike Hamilton, in formal remarks on the industry’s recent advancements in developing next-generation renewable energy and high-value biobased products, and Renmatix’s role in producing the low-cost intermediates critical in the pivot from petro-sourced to bio-based alternatives.

“Rural America holds tremendous promise today, thanks in large part to innovation taking place in the biobased economy. Since 2009, USDA has made tremendous investments in the research necessary to develop the next generation of biobased products. Such research is validated when companies like Renmatix can convert locally relevant feedstocks into the very low-cost sugar intermediates demanded by global fuel and chemical markets,” said Vilsack. “I applaud the Renmatix team for creating more than 50 sustainable, green collar jobs in Pennsylvania and strengthening the future of a biobased economy for southeast Pennsylvania.”

The new BioFlex Conversion Unit (BCU) at Renmatix’s Pennsylvania facility builds on the company’s success with hard wood biomass at its flagship facility in Georgia and will test and convert a range of non-food plant materials through its water-based Plantrose™ process. In addition to hardwood, the company will begin conversion of four locally available feedstocks including: perennial grasses, agricultural residues, softwoods and waste streams. The cellulosic sugars produced on-site via the BCU will support downstream fuel and chemical strategic partners and data analysis at the company’s technical center, which was opened in September 2012.

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