In Minnesota, Sweetwater Energy has received commitment for $26 million in long-term loans from the state of Minnesota to construct a biochemical production facility near Mountain Iron in northeastern Minnesota. The $53M facility will use local timber to produce high-value industrial alcohol and activated carbon.
The site has been selected and construction is planned to begin in spring 2016, with completion and operation anticipated for summer 2017. The facility will ultimately provide more than 100 jobs in the region as it is built out over four years.
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 processed into activated carbon, used to purify municipal drinking water and power plant air emissions.