Tuesday, October 30, 2012

In the news: a Biorefinery and Master Stone Masons

The stories we're sharing today pair new technology with the preservation of historic infrastructure.

Yesterday morning ZeaChem announced morning that the company has closed a $25 million investment and completed construction of a biorefinery in Boardman. The biorefinery can produce up to 250,000 gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year; production is slated to begin by the end of 2012. The refinery uses locally-sourced biomass to produce acetic acid and ethyl acetate, which then go into the production of paints, lacquers, and other consumer products. Sustainable Business Oregon has the full story.

When old stone retaining walls crumble along the Columbia Gorge,  government officials often turn to a Hood River-based company, Nature's Edge Stone Art, for repairs. The company is one of few that employ master stone masons with the skills to match original stone walls, retaining walls, and overlook areas. The company employs five full-time workers now, but on larger projects, employment can total 80 masons and apprentices. Check out The Oregonian's article for more details.

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