LSU AgCenter to open biofuels plant in St. Gabriel

Staff report

ST. GABRIEL - The LSU AgCenter Audubon Sugar Institute plans a Jan. 25 opening for a pilot plant designed to produce biofuels and biochemicals from agricultural crops and byproducts.

The centerpiece of the AgCenter's sustainable bioproducts Initiative, the plant focuses on processing sweet sorghum, energy cane and other grassy feedstocks into convertible sugars, fiber and bioproducts for further refining into butanol, gasoline, isoprene and biochemicals, project director Vadim Kochergin said.

"The facility can be scaled up to any capacity," Kochergin said. "The focus is on primary processing of sweet sorghum, energy cane and other grassy feedstocks.

"We can facilitate projects targeting evaluation and validation of technologies as well as training of research and operating personnel."

The plant is located at the Audubon Sugar Institute in St. Gabriel and is part of a larger project funded by a five-year, $17.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

A ribbon cutting will be held Jan. 25 at 10 a.m.