Weekly News Roundup

A hoi-polloi of green news this week with bisphenol-A issue continuing to plague the packaging industry. Also on ICIS News (which requires subscription), some snapshots of what’s going on in the global industrial biotechnology industry.

Caustic potash is free!…of mercury
Oxychem has finished converting its chlorine plant manufacture from mercury cell-based into using membrane cell technology, which will produce mercury-free caustic potash as byproduct. OxyChem said it is the first mercury-free caustic potash-producer in North America.

BPA issue spreads in metals
The North American Metal Packaging Alliance (NAMPA) is assuring consumers that the epoxy liners containing bisphenol-A in metal packaging for foods and beverages are safe. NAMPA said the Food and Drug Administration confirmed the safety of the BPA-contained epoxy coatings for food packaging.

Cheaper solar energy
Sunrgi said they developed a new solar energy system called XCPV (Xtreme Concentrated Photovoltaics), which will make it possible to produce electricity at a cost of 5 cents/kilowatt hour. The system will make solar energy as affordable as traditional-sourced electricity, the company said.

The world’s biggest biogas plant
Linde Group and Waste Management Inc. are building the world’s largest biogas from landfill in California. The $15m plant is expected to produce 50,000 liters/day of liquid biogas, and will begin operating in 2009.

Building green in India
Nova Chemicals and Reliance Industries formed a building and construction joint venture to capitalize on India’s $60bn construction market that is growing 20%/year. The joint venture will leverage Nova’s green building and construction technology.

And in ICIS News:
Startup of Metabolix’s and Archer Daniel Midland’s bioplastic plant in Clinton, Iowa, was delayed due to severe Midwest weather. Draths Corporation is developing benzene derivatives made from sugar-based renewable feedstock. And several research companies are looking to develop bioplastics made from switchgrass, sugarcane and glycerol.


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