Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Oregon Cellulosic Refinery Begins Production

Colorado-based ZeaChem Inc. has announced initial production of commercial-grade cellulosic chemicals and ethanol at its 250,000 gallons per year (GPY) biorefinery in Boardman, Ore. 

The company's demonstration facility, among the first in the world, is employing its C2 (two-carbon atom) platform to produce cellulose-based ethanol and intermediate chemicals such as acetic acid and ethyl acetate. Through relatively simple processing adjustments, the ZeaChem platform technology can create C3 chemicals (three-carbon structure) including propionic acid, ethyl propionate, propanol and propylene, according to a company press release. 

ZeaChem also announced that the development of the company's first commercial biorefinery is currently underway. Backed by a conditional loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the facility will have capacity to produce 25 million GPY or more of ethanol and chemicals from woody biomass and agricultural residues. It will be located at the Port of Morrow in Boardman, Ore., adjacent to ZeaChem’s demonstration biorefinery.

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