Bio-refinery coming to Mississippi...but what's a bio-refinery?

By Colleen Donovan - bio | email

PURVIS, MS. (WDAM) - Governor Haley Barbour has called a special legislative session for Friday to address a fifty million dollar incentive package for a bio-refinery to locate in Mississippi.

This company would convert an abundant state resource, wood chips from trees, into oil. That substance can be extracted through a variety of chemical processes.

Following a refinement process, the fuels can become a bio-diesel, gasoline or ethanol product. Glenn Hughes is a forestry extension professor with Mississippi State. He said currently seventy percent of the oil used in the United States is imported.

Hughes said the trees used by this bio-refinery would be smaller, weaker trees and not high value products.

According to Hughes, "Landowners are very interested in any new market they can come up with. And this is a new market and it's a market that is sustainable and one that we can continue to produce long term because trees are a renewable resource."

Governor Barbour will release more details about this five hundred million dollar economic development project Thursday in Jackson.

Copyright 2010 WDAM. All rights reserved.