BOULDER, CO  - Vencor International  (OTC PINK: VCOR) will begin testing industrial hemp as a feedstock to manufacture torrefied biofuel products, including Bio-Coal, a renewable energy product.

An agreement with Georgia based Vega Biofuels, Inc. calls for Vencor to  begin testing industrial hemp as a raw feedstock for producing Vega's Bio-Coal product. Vencor supplied Vega with samples of its torrefied wood pellets made from timber waste for testing by Vega's client. Multiple tests were performed, including ash, sulfur and volatile content analysis as well as fixed carbon and BTU content. Vencor will provide similar samples to Vega using industrial hemp as a feedstock.

James Gaspard, CEO of Vencor, says one benefit that hemp has over other feedstock is that it can be harvested annually, timber-based feedstocks take years to grow.  

Vencor manufactures torrefied wood products, which it calls "Bio-Coal," that can replace traditional coal in coal-fired power plants around the world. Bio-coal is produced from timber waste using torrefaction, a heating and drying process that makes the wood waste behave more like conventional coal. The torrefaction process also reduces nitrous oxides and sulfur dioxides.

Bio-coal appeals to power companies for co-firing in existing coal-fired power stations because it grinds similarly to coal, unlike untreated or fresh biomass. Bio-Coal has a high energy density and is considered a renewable energy fuel that meets the Renewable Portfolio Standards and Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) in the United States.

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