Weekly News Roundup

The buzz last week was the adoption of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS)regulation by California Air Resources Board. The LCFS targetsreduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation fuelsto 16m tonnes/year in the state by 2020. The standards are alsoexpected to be a template for federal policy makers as they seek toimplement national renewable fuel standards.

Unfortunately for current biofuel producers,the state will measure not only a fuel’s direct greenhouse gasemissions, but also life cycle and indirect land use emissions relatedto its production. With the standards, California aims to drive fasterdevelopment and use of next generation biofuels made from cellulose,biomass, algae, waste, etc. as well as drive the availability ofplug-in hybrid, battery electric and fuel-cell powered cars and promoteinvestment in electric charging stations and hydrogen fueling stations.

Pros and cons comments for the LCFS can be read here. But before you click that, here are last week’s news roundup:

More sunshine for Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart is expanding its solar power programin California with new 10 to 20 additional solar panels in severalWal-Mart facilities within the next 18 months. Wal-mart said theprojects will create about 130 (temporary???) jobs, includingengineering, design, and installer technician jobs. Smaller numbers ofworkers will be engaged during the periods leading up to and followingpeak construction.



NatureWorks opens lab


NatureWorks invested $1 millionto transform its former pilot plant in Savage, Minn., into an Ingeo™bioresin applications lab capable of commercial grade compounding,sheet extrusion, thermoforming, injection molding and fiber spinning.The lab has formed cooperative research relationships with theUniversity of Minnesota, Hennepin Technical College and InterpollLaboratory. Green plastic additive JV

Braskem and Cromex sign a partnershipto develop additives and colors for Braskem’s new green polyethylene.Cromex will develop a series of colors and additives that will addcharacteristics to the green plastic like an anti-blocking barrier forUV rays, antistatic and anti-fog features, respecting the productsfundamental sustainability properties.



Green solvent starts up


FutureFuel Chemical Company started-up its FUTURESOL® DEM (diethoxymethane) productionfacility at its Batesville, AR manufacturing site. Produced frombioethanol and formaldehyde, the solvent is used for commercialproduction of organometallic reagents.



Lanxess’ India green zone


Specialty chemicals company LANXESS India today announced the creation of a Green Zone at its Jhagadia site in Gujarat, India. The site will have 3000 newly planted trees



And in ICIS News (requires subscription):


The UK government has launched a scrappage incentive schemewhere the government will offer starting May 2009 a £1,000 (€1,140,$1,470) incentive to be matched by participating vehicle manufacturerswhen scrapping a car or van at least 10 years old.

Shell has reached a $5.8m settlement alongwith agreeing to extensive emission reductions and upgrades withenvironmental groups Environment Texas and Sierra Club over alleged USClean Air Act violations at the company’s site in Deer Park, Texas.

The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) said that the investigationinto last August’s deadly explosion at the Bayer CropScience plant nearCharleston, West Virginia could yield a recommendation for alternativemethods of producing and storing methyl isocyanate.

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