Renmatix opens new research and development facility

By Erin Voegele | September 26, 2012

Cellulosic sugar manufacturing company Renmatix Inc. has opened a new research and development center at its headquarters in King of Prussia, Pa. According to Renmatix, the multi-million dollar facility serves to accelerate the company’s exploration of new sustainable feedstock sources, assist downstream customers in their transition to cellulosic sugars, and further enhance the economics of the Plantrose process to produce low cost sugar intermediates.

Fred Moesler, Renmatix’s vice president of process technology, stressed that that the new facility will enable his company to expand its capabilities with regard to new feedstocks, but does not represent a change in focus. “We’re maintaining our hardwood focus,” he said. “That still exists. We have no intention of slowing down on that. This is expanding our reach.” The new facility will enable Renmatix to expand its scope to investigate the use of alterative feedstocks, such as energy crops, agricultural wastes and municipal solid waste.

The research and development facility will house a wide variety of equipment, ranging from lab-scale to pilot- and demonstration-scale. “The focus of this is really expanding our capabilities that we already have in terms of trying to help us explore new biomass sources,” Moesler said, noting that that work will include both analytical and chemistry components. Once the pilot- and demonstration-scale equipment comes online, the facility will be capable of producing cellulosic sugars on the multi-ton per day scale, he continued.

Many of Renmatix’s downstream customers employ fermentation processes, so the company has also added fermentation capabilities to the new center. The fermentation equipment will allow Renmatix to work with those companies to help them accelerate the transition to cellulosic sugars, Moesler said.

“We’re very excited about the fact that we are continuing to add all of these capabilities in our new King of Prussia location, and we are excited that we get to continue our march towards low cost cellulosic sugars,” he continued. “This is just another one of the stepping stones to get there, and we are very excited about it.”

Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pa., was on hand to tour the facility during its grand opening. “Small businesses like Renmatix are a key part of growing Pennsylvania’s economy and creating jobs,” Casey said. “Republicans and Democrats should come together to support policies that help these businesses create more good-paying jobs.”