Weekly News Roundup

Next week, I’ll be covering the American Oil Chemists Society (AOCS) 101st annual meeting and expo in Phoenix, Arizona (I’ll make sure to bring my passport just in case…). Follow my tweets at @ICISchemicalbiz and I’ll also be filing for ICIS News (for those who have subscription).

So, what to expect from there? A lot ranging from food, nutrition, biofuels, industrial oils, surfactants, oilseeds, biotechnology, processing…but I will only focus mostly on lipid-based industrial chemicals development especially glycerine and soybean oil chemicals, also updates in biodiesel, as well as a little bit of sustainability in surfactants and detergents, and a dash of bioplastics and bio-based plasticizers…sounds good?

I hope so. For now here are this week’s news roundup:

Elevance expands facility

Elevance Renewable Sciences has expanded its office and lab facilities in Bolingbrook, IL. The office has grown by 28% and the lab expansion includes the addition of 3 different sized parr vessels, glove boxes for air sensitive catalyst research and a pilot-scale laboratory unit. Elevance also completed its first toll production involving the conversion of a 40,000 pounds of renewable-based feedstock into specialty and commodity chemicals.

Petrobras in Portuegese biodiesel

Brazilian oil company Petrobras have joined Galp Energia to produce 250,000 tons/year of biodiesel in Portugal. Production is expected to start in 2015 and will be aimed to supply the European market, with priority to the Iberian market.

Valero in algae

Algenol Biofuels partners with Valero Services, a subsidiary of Valero Energy to explore combining Algenol’s Direct to Ethanol® technology with Valero’s expertise in technology and infrastructure for production and distribution of transportation fuels and chemicals. If successful, the collaboration has the potential of resulting in joint venture, commercial scale algae-based facilities and off-take arrangements with a global reach.



Codexis bags carbon capture grant


Codexis will receive up to a $4.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for development of customized carbonic anhydrase biocatalysts that have the potential to enable cost effective, energy efficient capture of carbon dioxide. Codexis is developing this technology in collaboration with Quebec, Canada-based CO2 Solution Inc.

Novozymes biofuel collaboration

Novozymes and Royal Nedalco, a leading yeast developer and ethanol producer, is collaborating to develop a new fermentation process that can efficiently ferment C5 and C6 sugars, which is essential for the commercialization of cellulosic biofuel.

From ICIS News (requires subscription):

The Netherlands-based chemical producer DSM is looking to invest in technology projects within the solar and biofuels industries.

Biobutanol-based fuels are on course to play a major role in the fast-growing $50bn annual world biofuels market, industrial biotech company Green Biologics said.

INSIGHT: Fatty alcohol buyers may switch from oleochemicals.

FMC expects 25-30% higher second-quarter earnings in its specialty chemicals business based on a demand surge for lithium from the energy services sector.



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