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Valley City State still working on 'activated carbon plant'

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Valley City State University
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Valley City State University says it’s making progress with its plan to create an “activated carbon plant” on campus.

In 2015, the legislature approved a new heat plant for VCSU. That plant is up and running. As part of the construction of the heat plant, a plan for the activated carbon plant was included.

"The activated carbons are 'carbon chair,'" said VCSU vice-president for business affairs Wesley Wintch. "They're usually from coal, but can be from any carbon-based source."

Wintch said that char is used to remove impurities from water or air.

"A good example of activated carbon that most people can relate to are the black granuels that you might see in a Brita water filter," Wintch said. "Those granuels are there to help filter the water."

Wintch said they’re also used in carbon capture at power plants.

In 2017, VCSU was granted permission to sell $22.5 million dollars in bonds for the plant’s construction. Wintch said the bonds have not yet been sold, as a feasibility study and a business plan needed to be written. He said that has been completed. And Wintch said an architect, an engineer and a general construction company have now completed a basic design and cost estimate.

Wintch said a financial adviser is now helping to get the bond issue ready for market – and that means writing the proposal in such a way for investors to understand it. And he said they’re also looking for buyers for the activated carbon.

"We believe that what this can do for our students in research and learning is hoghly impactful," Wintch said.

The bond sale will likely happen in the spring.

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