Weekly News Roundup

This week, ICIS Chemical Business featured India and for my part wrotean article about India’s well-known plant – castor – which has been andstill is one of the most promising raw material for chemical use. Youcan read about my interview with Dow Chemical India, BASF, Arkema aswell as US castor oil derivatives distributors Alnor Oil and AcmeHardesty.

Also watch out for my incoming article on April 27about new industrial and chemical use of fats and oils (e.g. grease,tallow, vegetable oils – particularly soy). For now, here are thisweek’s news roundup:

Dow Corning’s new solar center

Dow Corning selected JinCheon, Korea as the site for further expansion of its solar business with the development of a second Solar Solutions Application Center.The facility will enable engineers and scientists to work withcustomers to develop, evaluate, and pilot materials solutions used tomanufacture solar panels. The Center is scheduled to open in late 2009and pilot production equipment could come online by early 2010.

Dow carbon capture collaboration

Dow Chemical and power generation company Alstom are collaborating in the design and construction of a pilot plantto capture carbon dioxide from the flue gas of a coal-fired boiler atthe Dow-owned facility in South Charleston, West Virginia, USA. Thepilot plant is expected to be operational by 3Q 09.

Pure electric vehicles in mass market

Detroit Electric Holdings and PROTON Holdings Berhad formed a partnership to mass produce Pure Electric Vehiclesusing Detroit Electric’s patented electric drive systems. By 2012,Detroit Electric plans to sell more than 270,000 Pure Electric Vehiclesin Europe, UK, China and the United States. The vehicles will be pricedbetween $23K and $26k for the city range model and between $28k and$33k for the extended range model.

Honeywell’s new blowing agent

Honeywell is developing a new low-global-warming-potential blowing agent forenergy-efficient polyurethane foam insulation.The non-flammable liquidblowing agent will provide customers with an alternative tohydrocarbons and traditional hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Honeywellexpects the product will be available in limited sample quantities forcustomers later this year.

Pennsylvania’s green building potential

The Green Building Alliance (GBA) said Western Pennsylvaniais still well-positioned for green economic growth and opportunity. GBAsaid the region is within 500 miles of 30% of the current greenbuilding activity in the U.S., providing a significant opportunity forregional firms to sell products and services in this market.

And in ICIS news (requires subscription):

Global construction of coal-fired power plantsover the next ten years will add 3bn tonnes of carbon dioxide to theatmosphere, wiping out emissions cuts planned by the US and the EU,according to consulting firm McIlvaine Co.

Japanese chemical producer Asahi Kasei Chemicals plans to build a new generator which uses woodchip biomass at its Nobeoka power plant.

Thepetrochemical industry should embrace alternative energy sources, whichwould ultimately create jobs, former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev said last week.

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