Biométhodes begins construction of its pilot plant in Virginia (USA)

Biométhodes begins construction of its pilot plant in Virginia (USA) Evry (France, Essonne), Norton (USA, Virginia), September 9th, 2013

Biométhodes, a French biotechnology company dedicated to the development of a bio-refinery process from non-food biomass, and its US subsidiary OptaFuel, announced today that construction has begun on its pilot plant in Norton, VA. “Construction of our first pilot plant represents a significant investment of $24 million and is the culmination of significant efforts at the lab scale and pre-operational scale, an important step in the path towards commercialization as well as a significant progress for bioeconomy based on non-food biomass,” stated Gilles Amsallem, CEO of Biomethodes. “We are also very excited that shortly our US team, composed of more than two dozen Virginia based scientists and engineers, will be able to move to this brand new facility,”

The pilot plant will scale-up and demonstrate the company’s process for transforming non-food feedstocks and enabling non-petrochemical fuels, materials, and chemicals. It will include a chemical pretreatment of lignocellulosic material and the action of enzymes developed through Biométhodes’ proprietary platform. The facility will be focused on hardwood from the surrounding area, but will also be capable of conducting trials with a variety of other types of feedstock. It will serve as a stepping stone to a full-scale commercial facility as well as a source of material for subsequent development activities and partner needs. Operation of the pilot plant is anticipated to begin in 2014.