US-based biorefineries developer ZeaChem has commenced commercial-grade cellulosic chemicals and ethanol production from its facility in Boardman, Oregon.

The demonstrating facility, with a capacity of about 250,000 gallons per year, exhibits the scalability of the company’s biorefining process and plays a key role in the progression towards large-scale commercial production.

ZeaChem president and chief executive officer Jim Imbler said that the company is developing integrated biorefineries for the production of a wide range of economical and sustainable biofuels and bio-based chemicals.

The facility employs ZeaChem’s C2 platform to produce cellulose-based ethanol and intermediate chemicals such as acetic acid and ethyl acetate.

Commercial market potential of all C2 products is pegged at $485bn.

"The start of cellulosic production is a significant milestone for ZeaChem as we demonstrate our highly efficient biorefining technology, develop the first commercial biorefinery project, and expand global development opportunities," added Imbler.

ZeaChem is also, continuing development of the first commercial bio-refinery with the production capacity of nearly 25 million GPY of ethanol and chemicals from woody biomass and agricultural residues.

The new facility planned at the Port of Morrow in Boardman is funded by a conditional loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.