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Biogenic Reagents Opens Biocarbon Production Facility In Marquette, Michigan

A producer of high-value carbon products from renewable biomass, Biogenic Reagents, initiates commercial production at its new $30 million facility in Marquette, Michigan, creating 40 jobs in the region.

The company's flagship production facility has the capacity to process 300,000 tons per year of biomass into carbon products. The facility is creating more than 40 direct jobs, and is projected to create and support more than 100 jobs in the local forestry, wood products, transportation and construction industries. Initial products produced at the plant include activated carbon with applications for air and water purification and control of mercury and other emissions from power plants.

Unlike most activated carbon products for mercury control that are made from coal, Biogenic Reagents' products are derived from renewable biomass. Biomass not only is renewable and costs less than coal, it contains significantly less ash and other contaminants than coal-based products. The result: greater adsorptivity and better performance, the company said.

"Based on our knowledge and experience with mercury emissions and how to best control them, we believed there was an opportunity to introduce a lower cost and higher performing product into the marketplace," said Biogenic Reagents CEO Jim Mennell. "The results of third-party studies and commercial-scale trials now validate that belief."

Biogenic Reagents is also exploring new carbon products and markets, including high-energy thermal carbon used to supplement or replace coal and other solid fuels and metallurgical carbon for use in purification and production of iron and other metals.

"Our team is looking to replace coal-based carbons in everything from water filtration to building materials because our renewable biobased products cost less and have greater purity, delivering measurable performance and environmental advantages," said Mennell.

While specifics on whether this project spearheaded by the firm qualified for a Michigan Business Development Incentive grant was not immediately available, Michigan Renewable Carbon, a wholly owned subsidiary of Biogenetic Reagents, qualified for a $2 million state grant to help it convert an abandoned plant in Marquette County, Michigan, into a carbon biomass manufacturing facility.


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