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US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visits Renmatix for commissioning of plant to sugar BioFlex Conversion Unit
by Staff Writers
King Of Prussia PA (SPX) Jan 22, 2013


Tom Vilsack.

Renmatix welcomed Secretary Tom Vilsack, leader of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), for the commissioning of the company's BioFlex Conversion Unit, a multiple-feedstock processing facility at the company's King of Prussia headquarters. 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 hardwood biomass at its flagship facility in Georgia and will test and convert a range of non-food plant materials through its water-based PlantroseTM 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. "Having Secretary Vilsack join us to mark the next phase in diversifying Renmatix's technology across multiple forms of biomass is a great honor. His visit reflects our complementary interests in agriculture and chemistry, and highlights a new wave of 'farmistry' that is creating value for many types of locally grown, advantaged biomass. This new production facility will expand the relevance of the Plantrose process by helping to evaluate renewable feedstocks that are abundantly available in a variety of climates and geographies worldwide," said Renmatix CEO Mike Hamilton.

"The sugars produced at this site will continue to enable development of the emerging bioeconomy and will be shared with key industry collaborators and Fortune 50 downstream partners in our active sampling program."

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