Weekly News Roundup

Hopefully the green blogger will be more productive this week in posting new info. Regulatory sessions are on break (thank goodness!) so we won’t probably see as much news about the climate change bill aside from ongoing debates about it. I’ve been hearing a lot about China being way ahead in terms of renewable energy investments compared to US and Europe although India seems to not care much about emissions regulations and will instead focus more boosting economic growth and fighting poverty.

We will probably see more discussions about the role of these countries (and other emerging manufacturing powerhouse) in the global fight against climate change. This topic is especially sensitive to energy intensive industries such as petroleum and chemical industries.

For now here are this week’s news roundup:

Renewable chemicals in Brazil

Amyris Brasil Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento, Ltda., a wholly owned subsidiary of Amyris Biotechnologies, Inc. opened its demonstration facility in Campinas designed to convert Brazilian sugar cane into a range of high value renewable fuels and chemicals using a proprietary synthetic biology technology.

Dow’s algae-based biorefinery

Dow Chemical plans to work with Algenol Biofuels, Inc. to build and operate a pilot-scale algae-based integrated biorefinery that will convert carbon dioxide into ethanol. The facility is planned to be located at Dow’s Freeport, Texas site.

EPA’s safer fragrance criteria

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s Design for the Environment Program (DfE) and a group of stakeholders released the DfE Screen for Fragrances Human Health Criteria, which will define safer aroma chemicals and fragrance formulations for use in cleaning products. Fragrance formulations submitted as part of a candidate cleaning product formulation or in a DfE-recognized product which is up for partnership renewal on or after August 1, 2009 will be evaluated against the DfE Fragrance Screen Human Health Criteria.

New bioplastic division

Teknor Apex has formed its newbioplastic division, which will market and develop custom compoundplastics derived from renewable resources. Products include 100%bioplastic compounds as well as hybrids that combine bioplastic andstandard petrochemical-based polymers.

Coca-Cola uses fuel cell for power

UTC Power, a United Technologies Corp. company will supply two of its new PureCell(R) Model 400 fuel cell systemsto provide on-site electricity and heat for Coca-Cola Enterprises’production facility in Elmsford, N.Y. The fuel cell systems will helpfurther Coke’s sustainability efforts on energy conservation and waterstewardship.

New green soap standards

Certification company Green Seal has introduced new labeling standardsfor soaps, cleansers, and shower products. The Green Seal label willinclude ingredients information on fragrances and known allergens.

And in ICIS news (requires subscription):

Germany’s federal environmental agency, the Umweltbundesamt (UBA), has put forward a plan to curb perfluorocarbons (PFCs).

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the Chlorine Institute filed the lawsuitin Utah federal court alleging that railroad company Union Pacific isunfairly shifting liability to chemical companies for any spills ofchlorine and other hazardous chemicals.

Japan’s Daicel Industries has started up its bioethanol-based ethyl acetate plant in Otake, Hiroshima prefecture last week Wednesday.

Dow Chemical will soon resume talks with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) related to the ongoing clean-up surrounding its plant complex in Midland, Michigan.

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