Weekly News Roundup

I am back this week and proud to say that I [along with my sisters] did our best to help our ailing economy by shopping non-stop for two days. I am not sure, however, if I want to see my bills that will arrive before Christmas.

Speaking of shopping, there was no noticeable plastic shopping bag ban or limited use of plastic bags imposed in any supermarket and other stores that I came across for the past 5 days. I did not notice any promotion of green-theme products although most of the appliances (and some electronics) I saw already have energy-saving features on them.

I guess when money is tight, cheap still prevails over environment-friendly unless the products are cheap and green. We will continue to monitor the green shopping trend for the rest of the year, but for now, here are the blog’s green news roundup.

Bio-succinic on the way
The University of Georgia Research Foundation has licensed to French specialty chemical company Roquette the production and sales of bio-succinic acid and its salts. A demonstration plant is expected to be operational by the end of 2009, and multi-ton production is expected to start in 2010.

Enzymes for chemicals
Codexis has licensed Dyadic International’s C1 expression system for large-scale production of enzymes in certain fields including biofuels and chemical and pharmaceutical intermediate production.Recycled Insulation expands
Owen Corning increased the certified recycled glass content in its PINK Fiberglas insulation to a minimum of 40%. Its use of recycled content also helps reduce Owens Corning’s energy use and C02 emissions by nearly 13%.

Sharp builds solar cells
Sharp Corporation and Italian power company Enel SpA will establish a joint venture in the spring of 2009 to operate as an independent power producer and will develop a number of photovoltaic power plants with a total capacity of 189 MW by the end of 2012.

Recycled plastics in demand
Peninsula Packaging will purchase a minimum of 1.5 million pounds per month of recycled PET flake produced by ECO2 for a period of three years. The US FDA also affirmed the effectiveness of ECO2′s proprietary waterless cleaning process for recycling post consumer plastic, allowing the Company’s recycled plastic flake to be used in food packaging applications.

And in ICIS news (which requires subscription):
Cognis‘ sustainability and green targets will not fall by the wayside in the soaps and detergents sector despite the global credit crunch.

Bayer MaterialScience will build a chlorine recycling plant at its Bayer Integrated Site Shanghai based on catalytic oxidation of hydrogen chloride using oxygen.

China is looking to regulate ethylene dichloride trade, a chemical most commonly used as a feedstock for polyvinyl chloride because of safety concerns in its use in the pharmaceutical and pesticides sectors.

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