Manufacturers of bioplastics, biofuels, and biochemicals have a new non-food-derived feedstock option for their products. Virdia, formerly HCL CleanTech, is commercializing a patented technology that converts cellulosic biomass into fermentable sugars and lignin. In addition to the new name, the company formally introduced its new CEO, longtime the industrial biotech veteran Philippe Lavielle. Lavielle replaces Virdia's co-founder, Eran Baniel, as CEO, with Baniel now acting as Virdia's VP of business development.
Lavielle told PlasticsToday that he's actually been working with the company since July, as it worked to transition into a commercialization phase. The first step in that transition will be selecting a site for its first production-scale plant. The company has chosen the state of Mississippi for the facility on the basis of "sustainable access to biomass" and a $75 million financial incentive package tendered by the Mississippi Development Authority, according to Lavielle....