Appalachian Biofuels to build plant using TransBiodiesel enzymes

By Ron Kotrba | November 04, 2014

A new startup company has plans to build an enzymatic biodiesel production facility in Russell County, Va., with state government assistance. Appalachian Biofuels LLC is investing $3.5 million to manufacture biodiesel from waste feedstocks using immobilized enzymes. Biodiesel Magazine confirmed that Appalachian Biofuels is working with Israel-based enzyme maker TransBiodiesel on the project. 

Virginia beat out South Carolina in competition for the project, according to a press release from the office of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. The governor approved a $200,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Russell County with the project. In addition, the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $210,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds to help build the plant. Appalachian Biofuels also qualifies for rail access funding from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, and will be eligible for sales and use tax exemptions on equipment. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. 

“We were introduced to Southwest Virginia and to this new ‘immobilized enzyme’ through the Virginia Israel Advisory Board and its director, Ralph Robbins,” said Chuck Lessin, president and CEO of Appalachian Biofuels. “This revolutionary process will allow us to use the many tools, information and human resources that the Commonwealth has available. We are proud to be hiring former coal miners in the region who will transfer their significant experience in mining energy underground to our new green energy above ground in beautiful Russell County. We are excited to call Virginia our home, and we hope to grow and expand our business here in Southwest [Virginia].” 


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