Weekly News Roundup

Apologies for the people whose emails I have not yet responded to. Our office is officially in chaos this week with the move to another floor and I’m currently working on my article about zero energy homes, and at the same time, purging tons of trash that have mysteriously accumulated in my drawers, shelves and beneath my desk.

I promised to get back to you folks before the IT people forcefully shutdown my computer soon…

Here are this week’s news roundup!

Virent secures funding

Virent Energy Systems closed a $46.4m third round of funding led by Shell and Cargill. The funding will advance Virent’s efforts to scale its BioFormingĀ® process, a patented catalytic biorefinery platform that can produce cellulosic-based gasoline, to commercial production volumes.

Cereplast raises funds

Bioplastic producer Cereplast said it will be able to raise $7.5m from a stock offering deal with institutional investors. The 2,137,642 units sold in this offering consists of one share of common stock and one warrant to purchase 0.5 of a share of common stock with an exercise term of five years.

Ferro expands solar center

Ferro Corporation is expanding its photovoltaic technology centers in Suzhou, China, and Taipei, Taiwan, as part of a wide-ranging plan to support growth in the Asian marketplace. The new Advanced Technology Center in Taiwan is expected to be completed by the end of 2010.

DuPont’s new solar R&D center

DuPont opened its North American photovoltaic applications lab at its Chestnut Run facility in Wilmington, Del., to support materials development for the fast-growing photovoltaic solar energy market. The lab will accelerate introduction of new photovoltaic materials and engineering innovations.

New plastic recycling facility

MVR, a manufacturer of high performance sustainable plastic resins, will build a new 90 million lb/year manufacturing facility in Frankfort, KY. The 220,000 square foot facility, which is previously home to an auto parts manufacturer, will produce several different grades of post-consumer recycled plastic resins.

World’s largest pyrolysis plant

Ensyn Technologies and Tolko Industries has formed a partnership, High North BioResources Limited, to build the world’s largest commercial fast pyrolysis plant in High Level, Alberta, Canada. The partnership will build and operate a facility processing 400 bone dry tonnes/day of biomass into 85m litres/year (22.5m gal/year) of pyrolysis oil.

And from ICIS News (requires subscription):

Unilever will receive its first batch of certified sustainable palm oil from Malaysia’s Sime Darby Bhd after it stopped the purchase from Indonesian oil producer Sinar Mas over environmental concerns, industry sources said.

Brazilian petrochemical major Braskem plans to build a second polyethylene (PE) plant that would produce the resin from ethanol feedstock derived from sugarcane. Braskem was reviewing sites for the new plant, the company said.

The president of Germany’s federal environmental protection agency urged producers, importers and users of bisphenol A (BPA) to switch to alternatives.


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