New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has included $6.6 million in his proposed budget for an initiative to attract more investment and prosperity for the state’s Southern Tier. Alfred State College (ASC) is leading the effort for this new Biorefinery Development and Commercialization Center (BDCC) for a sustainable solution to build a new forest economy.
“The rising energy and collaboration surrounding the initiative is further confirmation of what I recognized immediately: that this is a project with the potential to transform the economic landscape of Allegany County and the Southern Tier,” stated State Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean. “I am enthusiastic about these developments and look forward to continuing to work with all those involved to see our vision realized.”
BDCC utilizes a sustainable process to produce greater value from wood products. While the trunks of trees have long been the most valuable part of logging, BDCC transforms the woody fibers of branches into traditional products such as fuel pellets and particleboard, along with value-added products for advanced fuels and bio-based chemicals.
The commercialization center will show how a revolutionary hot water extraction process patented by Applied Bio-refinery Sciences (ABS) is much more than an interesting science experiment. The BDCC will be an education and research center for commercialization of the earth-friendly process and a resource for product development for businesses and research institutions statewide and nationally.
“The ABS team is looking forward to continuing its collaboration with Alfred State College on the BDCC project to further develop the Hot Water Extraction process at prototype scale based on what has been developed in the laboratory,” stated Thomas Amidon, PhD, CEO, and co-founder of ABS. “The BDCC will allow commercialization of this clean process and have economic impacts throughout New York State and the Appalachian Region by building a new and sustainable industry.”
“The BDCC will make Alfred State and New York State a leader in the bio-products industry and lead the nation in commercial development of this innovative, sustainable process,” said Dr. Craig Clark, ASC vice president of Economic Development. “The center will include applied research and the opportunity to be involved in an operational learning factory to enhance student programs at the college”
Students at Alfred State’s Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing Center and students across the state at SUNY campuses interested in the implementation of sustainable practices will provide ongoing product and process research using the BDCC to support commercial biorefineries of the future.
“We greatly appreciate the governor’s support for a project that can spark investment in green businesses in the region, more employment in our communities, and new opportunities for our students,” said ASC President Dr. Skip Sullivan. “The BDCC is all about taking a theory and ramping it up for business applications. Seeing our students take what they learn and applying it to hands-on actions in the real world is at the heart of what Alfred State does.”
The governor’s commitment to include BDCC funding in the state budget completes the full $12.2 million required for the construction and initial operation of Alfred State’s BDCC.
“I applaud the exciting announcement made during the governor’s State of the State address that New York State will be committing up to $6.6 million to the Biorefinery Development and Commercialization at SUNY Alfred,” added Young. “I have championed this project since 2014 when it was in its infancy and was proud to secure $1 million in state funding the following year, so it is tremendously gratifying to see this effort approaching the goal line with this newest infusion of state funding.”
Young and Assemblyman Joseph Giglio, R-Gowanda, were instrumental in securing the initial state funding, and US Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, and Congressman Tom Reed, R-Corning, contributed to key federal funding of the project. This year’s state funding is also supported by Richard A. Ball, commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.