Virdia: Biofuels Digest’s 5-Minute Guide

November 6, 2012 |

Company description:
Virdia is the developer of the CASE™ process that converts lignocellulose into industrial sugars and lignin. Virdia uses wood chips and other cellulosic biomass to produce non-food based carbohydrates destined for the sector of advanced bio-chemicals and biofuels.

Virdia enables the emergence of the bio-based economy, as cellulosic sugars and lignin are essential non-food based feedstock for the production of renewable chemicals and second-generation biofuels. Virdia envisions that producing high quality, competitively priced sugars and lignin from sustainable sources of biomass will help reduce our dependence on petroleum-derived products, overall reduce carbon emissions and develop new manufacturing industries in rural areas.

Founded in 2007, Virdia is a privately held company backed by top-tier venture capital firms, including Tamar Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Burrill & Company and Triple Point Capital. Virdia is led by a seasoned management team with decades of experience in industrial biotech, chemicals and sugar production.

Since April 2012 Virdia is successfully operating 24/7 a pilot demonstration facility in Danville VA, manufacturing refined sugars and lignin from softwood and hardwood. The sugars are successfully converted or fermented into a large number of bio-chemicals, nutrition products and biofuels. The refined lignin has successfully tested for combustion and for a number of added value products such as flame retardants and carbon fibers.

Address:

228 Slayton Avenue Danville, Virginia 24540

Year Founded:

2007

Major Investors

Khosla Ventures, Burrill & Company and Zohar Gilon

3 Top Milestones for 2010‐12

a fully operational pilot/demo plant, engineering of the 1st commercial plant, agreements for subsequent plants, securing refined sugars and lignin users

3 Major Milestone Goals for 2013-15

commissioning of 1st commercial plant followed 6 months later by a 2nd commercial plant

Business Model:
Owner-operator for the 1st 3 plants and then a mix of owner operator with some licensing.

Competitive Edge(s):
Similar in quality and cost to corn and cane sugars when corn is at $4 a bushel

Stage
A demonstration facility operating 24/7 in Danville, VA

Company website

Project information

Location:  Danville, VA

Materials or products produced: refined Hemi-sugars, crystalline xylose, refined C6 sugars, acetic acid, combustion lignin, refined lignin

Capacity (Millions of US gallons per years) 250 lbs/day

Year, month in service  (planned or projected) 5 months

Status: Operating 24/7

Feedstock: Pine wood, Eucalyptus

Processing technologyConcentrated HCl hydrolysis

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Category: 5-Minute Guide

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