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Verenium Launches Louisiana Cellulose Facility

Verenium Corporation has begun the commissioning phase at its demonstration-scale cellulosic ethanol facility in Jennings, Louisiana, celebrating the launch of startup activities with a dedication ceremony on May 29.

“This is a major step forward and a transformational moment for Verenium and the next-generation ethanol industry as we seek commercially-viable alternatives to traditional fuel sources,” said Carlos Riva, President and CEO of Verenium. “This is a first for the U.S. and as we take the next step toward commercialization, we are breaking new ground and setting new standards for our industry.”

Startup activities continue as the facility transitions into a comprehensive commissioning phase, which the company says will allow it to “evaluate its process for making ethanol at scale and validate cost and performance assumptions to prepare for the development of its first series of commercial plants.”

Its goal is to begin construction in the middle of next year on a 30 million gallon per year commercial plant located in the Southeastern United States.

The company says it will be able to produce ethanol from a wide variety of feedstocks, including dedicated energy crops, sugarcane bagasse, agricultural waste, and wood products.

“With this plant moving into operations, we are on the brink of commercialization, on the brink of success,” Riva added.

The demonstration facility in Jennings is rated to produce 1.4 million gallons of ethanol annually using specialty enzymes and proprietary technology. This launch stems from the company’s R&D facility, also located in Jennings.

Verenium is listed on the Nasdaq under “VRNM.” The company’s technology has also been licensed by Tokyo-based Marubeni Corp. and Tsukishima Kikai Co. Ltd. and has been incorporated into BioEthanol Japan’s 1.4 million liter per year cellulose plant in Osaka, a facility that produces ethanol from wood construction waste.

 
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The American Coalition for Ethanol publishes Ethanol Today magazine each month to cover the biofuels industryís hot topics, including cellulosic ethanol, E85, corn ethanol, food versus fuel, ethanolís carbon footprint, E10, E15, and mid-range ethanol blends.
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