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Meridian Waste Solutions Attains Facility, Licensing for Advanced Bio-Refining Technology

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Meridian Waste Solutions Inc., St. Louis, Mo., USA, a vertically integrated, non-hazardous solid waste services company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Meridian Innovations LLC, this week announced its exclusive licensing of the AST-Organosolv Process Technology from American Science and Technology Corp. (AST). Under terms of its agreement, Meridian Innovations will have an exclusive commercial license to the AST patents and a lease for the AST biomass processing facility in Wausau, Wis.
Meridian Innovations is confident that, using the AST technology alongside Meridian Innovations’ process engineering and biomaterial development resources, a sustainable commercial bio-refining industry can be immediately launched.  

The Meridian technology platform, the company explained, is largely in response to current inefficiencies and outdated technology used in the pulp and paper industry. Meridian noted that while the industry has prospered using clean process technologies and sustainable land management practices, its core technology is more than 100 years old and unable to implement efficient separation and bio-refining upgrades. The current antiquated pulp and paper processing methods are designed to only recover and sell about 50% of the processed biomass into high-value applications, meaning that the remaining 50% must be incinerated to recover and recycle the sodium-based solvents. 

In contrast to traditional pulping processes, AST uses organic solvents to separate the biomass into fractions in lieu of sodium-based solvents. These organic solvents can be efficiently recovered and reused without incineration, allowing for the recovery of nearly 100% of the biomass constituents. The cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin can all be recovered and converted into high-value materials, whereas traditional methods only recover cellulose. 

One such high-value opportunity is created via AST’s ability to recover and produce a unique melt-flowing form of lignin. The production of a melt-flowing form of lignin is a major breakthrough that allows an otherwise under-valued lignin stream to capitalize on a host of new market opportunities that were previously thought too difficult to explore. As an example, when used as a high-performance resin extender in thermoplastics, lignin brings a value of $600 to $2,000 per ton, depending on the performance requirements, substantially greater than the $50 per ton value when incinerated. 
Furthermore, Meridian’s process engineers are able to cost-effectively build biomass processing systems that range in capacity from 200 to 2,000 tpd. As cellulose content and scale are no longer business constraints, Meridian says that it can build and locate processing systems that reach a wider variety of feedstock opportunities such as peanut shells, rice hulls, corn stover, cotton stems, peach pits, perennial grasses, woody biomass, and other crop residuals. 

"The patented AST-Organsolv process is a valuable addition to our portfolio and we look forward to continuing to develop, license, and acquire additional technologies and businesses that we believe will allow us to build a highly profitable company that reduces dependence on fossil fuels and creates thousands of green collar jobs," said Jeff Cosman, CEO of Meridian Waste Solutions.
Companies interested in evaluating specific feedstocks and business opportunities should contact Meridian Innovations More information about Meridian Innovations is available online. 

Meridian Waste Solutions is focused on finding and implementing solutions to solid waste needs and challenges within the industry and for its customers. The company’s core business is centered on residential and commercial waste collection and disposal, but it also includes a fundamental objective to seek rewarding environmental solutions through innovation. Currently, the company operates in St. Louis, Mo., and Richmond, Va., servicing more than 113,000 residential, commercial, industrial, and governmental customers. In addition to a fleet of commercial, residential and roll-off trucks, the company operates four transfer stations, one recycling facility, and three municipal solid waste landfills. More information is available online.


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