U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited King of Prussia bio-based chemical company Renmatix last Friday to celebrate the company’s newest production unit and to announce a $7 million grant toward biofuels research being conducted at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Eastern Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor, according to a Renmatix spokesman and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Renmatix opened an R&D facility last fall, and the company’s new Bioflex Conversion Unit, which converts local feedstocks to industrial-sugars, was the last piece of the puzzle, a spokesman said. The Kleiner Perkins-backed company has also doubled its staff to 50 since it opened its King of Prussia headquarters in early 2012. Renmatix was previously based in Georgia.
As for the research grant, it’s part of a $25 million grant that is funding projects in Kansas, Utah and Ohio, the Inquirer reported.
The goal of the research in Wyndmoor, where about 75 people work, is to develop systems for turning forest residues, animal manure, switchgrass, and other perennial grasses into biofuels and specialty chemicals on the farm.
Updated 3:09 p.m. 1/17/13: Renmatix is not a “biofuel manufacturer,” as we previously reported. It is a bio-based chemical company.