Virdia opens new cellulosic pilot facility


Virdia, a developer of cellulosic sugars, has inaugurated a demonstration facility at its new technology centre in Danville, Virginia, US.

The facility is designed to evaluate Virdia's Case process in pilot scale, as well as produce samples of cellulosic sugars and lignin for commercial applications.

Virdia CEO Philippe Lavielle said the company's technology centre and demonstration facility in Virginia is the next key step towards commercial production.

"The technology is being established in pilot scale, and we now look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate it on an even larger scale," Lavielle added.

"Looking ahead, our next step will be to site a commercial facility near sustainable sources of biomass."

The Case process, based on a series of patented and patent-pending technologies, converts various cellulosic feedstocks including plantation/industrial wood, energy crops, and agricultural residues to fermentable sugars and lignin.

Sugars can be used as renewable fuels and fuel intermediates, renewable chemicals and materials, and nutritional additives for the animal feed industry, while lignin can be used as feedstock for plant-based plastics and other thermo-chemical transformations.

Institute for Advanced Learning and Research executive director Liam Leightley said Virdia is in line with the institute's vision, as their Case process and subsequent products have the potential to serve various applications from food to energy and beyond.

"Virdia's focus on renewing tomorrow with use of its high-quality cellulosic sugars will surely be pivotal in the success of the bioeconomy and, in turn, in meeting great societal needs," Leightley added.