07 May 2012 00:00 [Source: ICB]
MATRICA BIOREFINERY TO START CONSTRUCTION
Matrica, a 50:50 joint venture between Italy's Novamont and Polimeri Versalis, is set to start construction of its €500m ($670m) biorefinery project in Porto Torres, Sardinia, that will use renewable feedstock such as vegetable oils. The first stage of the project will include a bio-lubricants facility. The second stage will include another plant for producing bio-additives and bio-fillers for the rubber industry, and the final stage will see a downstream plant to produce bioplastics. The site will have 350,000 tonnes/year of bio-based capacity when completed within the next six years.
PTTGC TO GET APPROVAL ON NATUREWORKS BUY
PTT Global Chemical's (PTTGC) acquisition of a 50% stake in US bioplastic company NatureWorks is expected to be approved for anti-monopoly compliance by the end of April. NatureWorks will look into the investment and engineering details of its proposed polylactic acid (PLA) plant in Thailand after PTTGC's investment in the company is approved, according to a NatureWorks official. Construction of the proposed 140,000 tonne/year PLA plant is likely to begin one year after the approval. Cassava and sugarcane will be used for feedstock.
METABOLIX AWARDED TWO BIOPLASTIC PATENTS
US bioplastic company Metabolix has been awarded two US patents that cover a process that enables the company to engineer microbes and plants to accumulate unique bio-based monomers and polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) polymers inside their cells. The PHA polymers could then be extracted and used as bioplastics or they could be converted into chemical intermediates including bio-based acrylic acid, malonic acid, esters and amines.
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