Restoration Bioproducts will construct a biochar production facility in Sussex County, Virginia. The $5.8 million project is expected to create five jobs.
Co-located in the Town of Waverly with wood pellet manufacturer Wood Fuel Developers, the company will use pyrolysis technology to convert waste wood from the mill into biochar and syngas, a form of natural gas. Restoration Bioproducts will purchase 34,560 tons of Virginia-grown wood products, while also bringing major business benefits to Wood Fuel Developers, according to state officials.
“Our partners have all worked in Virginia for many years, and we are very pleased to bring our first project using this exciting new technology to the Town of Waverly and Sussex County," said Jeff Waldon, Managing Partner of Restoration Bioproducts LLC. “Pyrolysis and biochar application has been identified as an important technological approach to assisting agricultural producers improve soil health, and sequester carbon in soils to address climate change.”
The governor’s office approved a $50,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, which Sussex County and the Town of Waverly will match with local funds.
“Technology and entrepreneurship are powerful forces driving the Commonwealth’s economy forward. Today’s announcement is further evidence that Virginia is the location of choice for companies looking to transform their industries through innovation,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “I congratulate Sussex County on bringing a first-of-its-kind green energy project to Virginia and commend Restoration Bioproducts for demonstrating the power of private-sector led, sustainable waste solutions.”
Restoration Bioproducts LLC specializes in the development of pyroysis/gasification projects using dedicated switchgrass and waste wood as a feedstock.
“Forestry is Virginia’s third largest private sector industry and is often the major economic driver in many of our rural communities. Therefore it is critical that entrepreneurs and innovators, like Restoration Bioproducts, apply new technologies to solve the business problems of today,” added Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr. “This project highlights the power of collaboration and sustainable solutions, two hallmarks of a thriving forest products industry.”
Biochar is a highly-porous, stable and carbon-rich charcoal-like product with a variety of applications, but is most commonly used as an agricultural soil amendment, odor absorber or animal feed additive.