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USA: Department of Energy announces $213M conditional loan for biomass chemical manufacturing

The Loan Programs Office of the Department of Energy announced on Thursday a conditional $213.6 million loan guarantee to fund the construction of a facility in southwest Minnesota. This facility, operated by Bioforge Marshall, a subsidiary of Texas-based Solugen, aims to use biomass for manufacturing chemicals traditionally derived from fossil fuels.

This commitment represents the largest single investment by the U.S. government in bioindustrial manufacturing since President Joe Biden’s executive order in September 2022 to promote innovation in biotechnology and biomanufacturing.

Located in Marshall, Minnesota, the new facility will produce bio-based chemical products for applications in concrete, cleaning, agriculture, and energy sectors.

Solugen plans to employ advanced technology utilizing enzymes and metal catalysts in the production of organic acids, as highlighted by the LPO. This approach is expected to yield higher outputs with reduced carbon emissions compared to conventional chemical production methods.

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