Vega Biofuels breaks ground on pilot torrefaction plant

By Staff | November 24, 2014

In October, Vega Biofuels Inc. announced that its joint venture with Agri-Tech Producers LLC broke ground on a pilot torrefaction plant in Allendale, South Carolina. The facility is expected to be complete during the first quarter of 2015.

Once operational, the plant will use a patented torrefaction technology to produce a biobased coal product from wood and plant feedstock. The company plans to sell its biocoal to electricity producers around the world. The USDA recently awarded the pilot project a $200,000 Value-Added Producer Grant.

Earlier this year, Vega Biofuels announced that Agri-Tech Producers had developed a patent-pending, combined-site-remediation biomass and biocoal production process that uses the phytoremediation powers of the roots of certain trees and crops that have been planted to clean contaminated sites. A patented leaching process is then used to remove the toxins and other problematic substances from the biomass prior to torrefaction.

“The $200,000 grant will help ATP-SC LLC, the joint venture entity, process the biomass of various trees and bio-crops that we will plant on sites convenient to our Allendale facility, including on some of the nearly 170 contaminated sites identified by EPA,” said Joseph James, president of ATP and Vega advisory board member.