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Sweetwater Energy, a renewable biochemical company headquartered in Rochester, New York, has received commitment for $ 26 million (€24 million) in long-term loans from the US state of Minnesota to build a biochemical production plant near Mountain Iron in Minnesota’s northeast.

The $ 53 million facility will use local timber to produce high-value industrial alcohol and activated carbon.

The facility will use Sweetwater’s patented biomass processing technology, which splits Minnesota’s local timber and waste wood into valuable sugar and lignin. The sugar is used to create industrial alcohol – a key ingredient of many products, such as cosmetics and detergents – while the lignin is processes into activated carbon, used to purify municipal drinking water and power plant air emissions.

The site has been selected and construction is planned to begin early next year, within completion and operation anticipated for mid-2017.

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