Weekly News Roundup

My bioplastic article has been filed and will be out for the March 22 issue of ICIS Chemical Business. Right now I’m working on about bisphenol-A (BPA) which is getting to be really interesting. Can’t wait to share that!

For now here are this week’s news roundup:

Lithium expansion in Korea

Celgard will expand production capacity of its lithium-ion battery separator production at its existing facility in Ochang, South Korea. The facility will come online in 2011, and will serve customer growth in consumer electronics applications.

Mitsui’s biomass refinery in Asia

Mitsui will build a number of biomass refineries in Southeast Asia using Inbicon’s biomass refinery technology. Mitsui intends to apply the technology in the palm oil industry, where wastes from palm oil production can be converted into ethanol, solid biofuel for energy production, and animal feed.

Solutia acquires solar biz

Solutia will acquire Etimex Solar, a Germany-based supplier of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) encapsulants to the photovoltaic market.Solutia says combining EVA with its existing polyvinyl butyral (PVB) encapsulant capabilities positions the company as the world’s only one-stop source for solar encapsulant solutions.

Univar adds bio-solvents

Chemical distributor Univar has announced a pan-European distribution agreement with Italy’s Liberty Chemicals srl, sole European representative of Vertec BioSolvents. The product range comprises 15 biodegradable, carbon neutral and cost-effective alternatives to widely-used conventional solvents.

Cereplast starts Indiana operations

Bioplastic producer Cereplast has begun production at its new 80 million pounds/year facility in Seymour, Indiana. The company has also moved its corporate headquarters to offices in El Segundo, California, from Hawthorne, California.

And in ICIS News (requires subscription):

At least seven resolutions and bills are pending in Congress to block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gases.

The US recycled at least 361m lb (164,000 tonnes) of non-bottle rigid plastics in 2008, up nearly 11% from a year earlier, according to the American Chemistry Council (ACC).

Brazil sugarcane industry association Unica blamed local fuel distributors for keeping hydrous ethanol less competitive than gasoline by not passing a drop in the price of the biofuel to consumers.


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