Weekly News Roundup

Last week’s trip to BIO’s industrial biotech conference was a fruitful event and I had so many information, I have no idea where to start. Hopefully I’ll be able to start posting my Q&As from several company interviews that include NatureWorks, Codexis, Genomatica and Verdezyne. I already wrote several news articles for ICIS covering a little bit of the event but I do hope that some of the green blog readers were able to follow my tweets as well.

Before I start the massive undertaking of BIO coverage, let’s start this week’s news roundup first:



Natural oil chems acquired


Vertellus Performance Materials bought certain assets of Degen Oil & Chemical Company, effective July 1, 2009. Degen, located in Jersey City, New Jersey, is a producer of blown vegetable oils and fish oils, derivatives and specialty alkyds for the coatings and inks industries for over fifty years.



Biogas from Wisconsin cows


GE Energy’s Jenbacher biogas engines have been installed in several dairy farms in Wisconsin to generate renewable electricity from cow-based biomethane gas for onsite power and the local grid. At the Crave Brothers Farm, LLC in Waterloo, GE’s biogas engine technology is generating 633 kilowatts in renewable energy.

Grants for biofuel feedstock R&D

U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Energy selected seven projects to receive up to $6.3 million awardstowards fundamental genomics-enabled research leading to the improveduse of plant feedstocks for biofuel production. Initial funding willsupport research projects for up to 3 years.



Validating eco-efficiency


Certification company NSF Internationallaunched its new eco-efficiency protocol, NSF Protocol 352 (NSF P352),for the validation and verification of eco-efficiency analyses, definedas creating more goods and services while consuming fewer resources andgenerating less waste and pollution. BASF is the first to use the NSF’sEco-Efficiency Analysis (EEA) methodology.



Styrene group sues California


The Styrene Information and Research Center’s (SIRC)filed a lawsuit to block the California Environmental Protection Agencyfrom listing styrene as a carcinogen under Proposition 65, the state’sSafe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. The law requireswarnings on consumer products containing chemicals listed on Prop 65.

And in ICIS News (requires subscription):

Walmart’s eco-label plan may face technical and scientific challengesand take years to implement, but chemical industry leaders said the private sector initiative is better than a government mandate.

Scientists with the University of North Dakota’s Energy & Environment Research Center (EERC) have created a renewable fuelwith the potential to minimize the environmental footprint of rocketlaunches while substantially reducing upper atmospheric particulatematerial.

Brazilian industry group ABIEFblasted a new law in the state of Rio de Janeiro that will ban the useof plastic bags at food retailers over the next three years.





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