Weekly News Roundup

I’m still feeling crappy but the blog needs attention so here are this week’s news roundup. I’m also hoping to be able to post my Wacker Chemie trip, overview of the Jefferson Clean Tech conference held last month, and interesting bioplastic presentations from the Chemicals Marketing & Economics group (CM&E) conference that I attended last week.

Shell pays up on emissions fine

Shell Chemical L.P. and Shell Chemical Yabucoa will pay a combined $3.3m civil penalty to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as to Alabama and Louisiana, and $200,000 to Louisiana organizations for environmental education and emergency operations as part of two Clean Air Act settlements. The companies will also install pollution reduction equipment on two petroleum refining facilities at an estimated cost of $6m.

Verenium and BP extends deal

Verenium and BP have extended their joint cellulosic ethanol development program established in August 2008 for an additional four months. Verenium will receive $2.5 million per month from BP to co-fund the cellulosic ethanol program through the end of the extension period.

GM in jatropha biodiesel R&D

General Motors made a five-year partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to help develop the potential of the jatropha plant for biodiesel use. Two jatropha farms will be established in India: a 16-hectare plot in Bhavngar and a 38 hectare plot in Kalol, near GM’s India Car Manufacturing plant. An existing 30 hectare jatropha farm in Bhavnagar also will be managed under this project.

UOP and Indian Oil on biofuels

Honeywell’s UOP has partnered with Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. (IOCL) in biofuels research and development projects in India. The companies would evaluate installation of a demonstration-scale unit to produce green transportation fuels at an existing IOCL site using non-food feedstocks such as biomass, lignocellulosic materials and algal oils available within India.

Air Products Korean hydrogen station

Air Products signed a contract with SK Energy to construct a hydrogen fueling station for a novel energy project to be based in World Cup Park in Seoul, South Korea. The hydrogen fueling station to be onstream in July 2010 will supply hydrogen produced solely from landfill gas to fuel a fleet of vehicles.

And in ICIS News (requires subscription):

Malaysian producer Emery Oleochemicals may build up to two new plants and acquire businesses as part of the company’s five-year plan.

Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) has begun the startup process of its renewable propylene glycol (PG) plant, but does not expect it to be fully operational until the second quarter.

Global synthetic rubber prices may surge on likely strong orders from tire-makers looking for a cheaper alternative raw material to natural rubber.

California is seeking to develop a final regulation and implement its green chemistry initiative by the end of this year, prompting consideration of similar regulations by the US federal government and other states.

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