Startup company Applied Biorefinery Sciences proposes possible biorefinery at former Lyons Falls Pulp & Paper mill in New York, would test its woody biomass-based process over 12-18 months, then consider larger operation

LOS ANGELES , February 23, 2012 () –

The redevelopment of the former Lyons Falls Pulp & Paper mill in Lyons Falls, New York, might involve a biorefinery, according to a proposal recently presented to Lewis County legislators, reported the Watertown Daily Times on Feb. 22.

Startup company Applied Biorefinery Sciences is considering setting up a woodchip chemical extraction operation in a 15-year-old chemical building at the mill site, said Eric J. Virkler, economic development director for Lewis County, at a meeting on Feb. 21.

The company, which was spun off from research conducted at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, would conduct trials over a 12- to 18-month period in the existing building, the Watertown Daily Times reported.

If the trials are successful, the next step would be to construct a new, larger manufacturing plant either at the mill site or nearby, said Virkler, who is also a member of the Lewis County Development Corp.

In laboratory testing, Applied Biorefinery Sciences’ process extracts eight to 10 difference chemicals from the woodchips; although the commercial viability is still being tested, said Virkler.

The proposed business would sell both chemicals and wood pellets.

However, the company still needs to secure a substantial amount of capital to start up, he said, reported the Watertown Daily Times.

Meanwhile, Black Moose Development LLC, a subsidiary of the Lewis County Development Corp., is moving ahead with an asbestos survey of the buildings at the site. The former Lyons Falls Pulp & Paper mill shut down in January 2001.

A US$350,000 Empire State Development grant received toward the project will likely help cover the $500,000 cost of a first phase environmental review and demolition planning. The full project is expected to cost a few million dollars, said Virkler.

Rehabilitation of a short railway spur is also planned by the development corporation, using a $95,320 grant from the Northern Border Regional Commission, the Watertown Daily Times reported.

The primary source of this article is the Watertown Daily Times, Watertown, New York, on Feb. 22, 2012.

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