Weekly News Roundup

Last week was rife with news about the EPA’s plan to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from power plants and manufacturing facilities, as well as planned shake up of EPA’s existing chemicals management program (TSCA).

Chemical industry organizations seem ok with the TSCA reform although the same cannot be said with the greenhouse gas emissions regulation. The EPA estimates that its anticipated rulemaking on GHG emissions under the Clean Air Act will likely apply to 14,000 US power stations, refineries and factories. The National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA) was quick to challenge the agency stating that the EPA lacked the legal authority to decide which facilities should be regulated and which should be exempted.

More on those issues in the coming days ahead. Meanwhile, here are this week’s news roundup.

Biomass fuel association formed

Advanced biofuel producers announced the formation of the Low Carbon Synthetic Fuels Association (LCSFA) representing the Biomass-to-Liquids (BtL) industry. The LCSFA was formed to address existing legislative and regulatory inequities that have slowed or even hindered the development of advanced biofuels.

Arkema’s recycle solution

Arkema has developed Rcycle™, a global service package based on recycling biobased Rilsan® and Pebax® technical polymers. Rcycle™ covers the collection and sorting of waste, and its reuse in a range of recycled polymers.

Wacker exits solar wafer biz

Wacker Chemie AG exits from the solar wafer business and will transfer its shares in its joint venture WACKER SCHOTT Solar GmbH (WSS) to its former partner SCHOTT Solar AG. WACKER will focus its solar activities on the production of hyperpure polycrystalline silicon.

Chemrec gets biofuel funds

Chemrec ABwill get an investment grant of up to SEK 500 million (€49 million, $73million) from the Swedish Energy R&D Board contingent on approvalby the EU Directorate General for Competition. The grant will fundChemrec’s plan to produce renewable motor fuels BioDME and Biomethanolat its Domsjö Fabriker biorefinery in Örnsköldsvik.

California invests in energy efficiency

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will established energy efficiency programsfor 2010 – 2012, approving a three-year budget of $3.1 billion forSouthern California Edison, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San DiegoGas and Electric Company, and Southern California Gas Company.

And in ICIS news (requires subscription):

The US must raise its ethanol blend level in gasoline to 15% (E15) to draw more investors to second-generation cellulosic ethanol, an industry group said.

More money must be spent on the research and development of carbon dioxide as a feedstock if the chemical industry wants to help reduce global warming, Rhodia’s CEO Jean-Pierre Clamadieu said.

Japan Biofuels Supply LLP (JBSL),a group of Japanese refiners, has begun purchasing domestically madebioethanol for the first time from Hokkaido Bioethanol and OenonHoldings.

Plastic processors in Mexicoare searching for additives and technology to abide by a new decreethat has banned non-biodegradable plastic bags in Mexico City.


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